in Collaborations | 23 JAN 23

Nikita Gale, 2022


in Collaborations | 23 JAN 23

For the 2022 BMW Open Work commission, Nikita Gale, Los Angeles based artist presented 63/22. In this immersive installation, Gale explores the relationship between the technologies of sound and speed and how they have culturally influenced one another through design, drawing inspiration from the Gibson Firebird electric guitar which was created by car designer Ray Deitrich.

bmw lounge talk
Talk in BMW Lounge with Nikita Gale, Hedwig Solis-Weinstein, Ian Malone moderated by Attilia Fattori Franchini

The artist invited BMW i7 designers to sketch utopian, functional guitar bodies. These sketches provided the starting point for the creation of sculptural guitars which exist in the boundaries of functional objects and artworks. The sketches by BMW i7 designers were then shared with guitar maker, Ian Malone who realised the designs in his studio in conversation with Gale.

guitars in bmw lounge
Installation image of: "Tharpe", "Joan" and "Thornton"

The guitars were presented for the first time in the BMW Lounge at Frieze London. As part of the commission, Gale invited performers; JovialeAlpha Maid and Ray Aggs to activate the space and present the functionality of the guitars through performance.    

joviale performance in bmw lounge
Joviale performing with "Minnie"
Alpha Maid in BMW lounge
Alpha Maid performing with "Lynn"
Rae Aggs performing with "Tharpe"
Ray Aggs performing with "Tharpe" 

Find out out more about the guitars and their technical specifications here

BMW Open Work by Frieze is an annual initiative that brings together art, design and technology in a pioneering multi-platform format. Each year since 2017, BMW Open Work by Frieze invites an artist to create a visionary project inspired by technology, engineering prowess and BMW Design that explores current and future technologies as a vehicle for innovation and artistic experimentation.

Nikita Gale (2022) succeeded Madeline Hollander (2020-21), Camille Blatrix (2019), Sam Lewitt (2018) and Olivia Erlanger (2017) as the artist chosen for the BMW Open Work Commission. 

About the Partnership

Further information on BMW Open Work here

Main image: Installation view of all guitars in the BMW Lounge
Photography: Ben Broomfield