This South African Artist Decorates BMW Car Interiors With Stunning Designs

Working with BMW is a dream for any designer, but for an 86-year-old South African artist from the Ndebele tribe, it's business as usual.

Since 1975, BMW has been inviting artists from around the world to display their talents on its cars by creating real collections called "Art Car". South African artist Esther Mahlangu was the first woman, about 30 years ago, to create an Art Car for the German manufacturer: it was a 525i saloon.

Later, Esther Mahlangu has been invited to apply her art to a BMW for the individual customization program: the interior of a "very serious" BMW 7 Series has changed its "character" thanks to the artist's fascinating colors and fantasy. The single example was exhibited at the Frieze Art Fair in London and auctioned for charity.

The South African Artist Esther Mahlangu Is Brilliant

Esther Mahlangu's art is based on the Ndebele tradition, where women decorate the walls of houses with bright patterns and colors. Her stunning designs symbolize very important events for the tribe and also serve as a means of communication between its members.

bmw car Esther_Mahlangu decorated


"The patterns we used to decorate the interior panels of this BMW combine tradition with the essence of BMW. When BMW sent me the invitation to paint the interior panels of the car, I immediately knew which design to use and immediately started painting it. My heart was filled with joy when BMW asked me to paint their cars again," the artist said of her second collaboration with the world-renowned German brand.

BMW Is Not The Only Prestigious Brand To exhibit Mahlangu's Stunning Artwork

In August 2015, Mahlangu collaborated with Belvedere Vodka joining the (RED) campaign fighting AIDS, and also teamed up with Swedish shoe brand Eytys to create a special model with embroidery designed by it. Her designs have also adorned the tails of British Airways planes.

Even though she is famous in South Africa and her popularity has spread around the world, Mahlangu says she has remained the same simple person she always was.

"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 exhibited in different museums, but I have remained the same Esther Mahlangu of South Africa", the artist confessed.

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