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BMW art cars

BMW 525i art car - Esther Mahlangu 1991

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"My art has evolved from the tribal tradition of decorating our homes", said the South African painter Esther Mahlangu of her work.

With the painting of the BMW 525i, she wanted to link this handed-down art form to the modern appearance of the automobile. A challenge that Mahlangu mastered outstandingly with the creation of the first African Art Car.


In order to get a feeling for the completely new medium, the artist first of all painted the door of another BMW, before she ventured to create "her" Art Car. Within a week, she transformed the 5 Series saloon into a masterpiece of African Ndebele art - and established herself as the first woman in the list of international Art Car artists.

Source: BMW World

Esther Mahlangu - The Artist

Born in 1935, Esther Mahlangu lives in the village of Weltervrede in the Mpumalanga Province. She is a remarkable woman who against all odds, traveled and exhibited overseas in 1989, a time when political turmoil at home and sanctions abroad made international participation only a dream for all but a few South African artists. Mahlangu tells us, "My mother and grandmother taught me to paint when I was ten years old. I have been busy with it ever since and have always liked it. When I am painting my heart is very wide, it reaches out. It makes me feel very, very happy."

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