EPIC ART MILESTONE: SA artist, 81-year-old Esther Mahlangu has put her stamp and identity on another BMW 7-Series. Image: BMW Group
Mpumalanga - 25 years ago, Esther Mahlangu, a South African artist, was the first woman to create artwork based on a BMW 525i sedan.
Its bodywork was adorned with the bright colours and unique ornamental shapes, typical of Ndebele art, thus turning it into a BMW Art Car.
Mahlangu has now, for the second time in 2016, joined forces with BMW and the automaker's 7-Series. In collaboration with the BMW, Mahlangu transformed a luxury sedan into a dynamic work of art by painting her characteristic motifs on the real wood interior trims.
BMW to facilitate
To facilitate this the specialists at BMW Individual Manufaktur oversaw the full manufacturing process. It developed a special, white-coloured fine-wood trim to be painted with Esther’s images before sealing and installing them within the equally remarkable vehicle.
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The one-of-a-kind vehicle will be shown to the public for the first time at the 2016 Frieze Art Fair (October 5-9) in Regent’s Park, London.
The vehicle will be offered during a silent auction. Proceeds from the sale of the vehicle will be donated to charity.
Ester said: "To paint is in my heart and it's in my blood. The way I paint was taught to me by my mother and my grandmother. The images and colours have changed and I have painted on many different surfaces and objects but I still love to paint. The patterns I have used on the BMW parts marry tradition to the essence of BMW.
Gallery: Esther Mahlangu's BMW 7-Series
"When BMW sent me the panels to paint, I could see the design in my head and I just wanted to get started! I start by painting the small ones first to get the feel of the surface and then it was easy as the design follows the lines of the panels.
"My art has taken me all over the world and I have seen many places, I have painted many walls and objects and my work is in many museums. But I am still Esther Mahlangu from Mpumalanga in South Africa. My heart was full of joy when BMW asked me again to paint for them.”Image: BMW Group
First time for everything
Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of the BMW AG, explained: “Within the framework of the long-term partnership with Frieze and Frieze Masters, we are combining our cultural engagement with BMW Individual for the very first time.
"I am delighted that we have been able to work again with Esther Mahlangu, an exceptional artist and someone I remember well from my time in South Africa. Together with experts from BMW Individual Manufaktur and BMW Group Design, Esther has created a unique work of art - a BMW Individual 7 Series that forms an extraordinary relationship between craftsmanship and Ndebele art."