South Africans on social media are beaming with pride after renowned local artist Dr Esther Mahlangu’s unique artwork was unveiled on a customised Rolls-Royce Phantom on Wednesday.
Mahlangu, 84, is the first South African artist to make this achievement. She officially unveiled the “Mahlangu” Rolls-Royce Phantom at The Melrose Gallery in the One&Only resort in Cape Town.
According to the Gallery, the prestigious car along with its exquisite artwork will be on display from 13-16 February.
Mahlangu’s solo exhibition at Melrose Gallery
Mahlangu’s distinctive artwork is visible on the car’s dashboard, outside on the front right-hand side, and on the upper side of the rocker panel under the front door.
Marek Letowt, Rolls-Royce’s General Manager in South Africa, said, “We took advantage of this opportunity and are actually the first car in the world to offer a painted piece of artwork done by a very well-known and world-famous artist, Dr Mahlangu, in this particular car.”
The Melrose Gallery is also hosting Mahlangu’s solo exhibition called “Disrupting Patterns,” which features a selection of her paintings. It will run from 13 February to 31 March 2020.
The Gallery’s spokesperson, Craig Mark, said global celebrities such as Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz, John Legend and Trevor Noah have bought Mahlangu’s artwork. He added, “She seems to have developed an iconic status of her own.”
Mahlangu wants to preserve heritage
Mahlangu was born in Mpumalanga and has been a creative artist for 74 years. She learned to infuse her Ndebele culture into her paintings from her mother and grandmother.
She began exhibiting on the international stage in 1989 and has collaborated with several global brands and museums since then.
In 2016, the talented artist collaborated with BMW, creating eye-catching artwork for the luxurious 7 Series brand.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Mahlangu said she wants to preserve her artwork by teaching it to the younger generation.
She said, “I teach the kids, as I do not want the art to die off. The kids draw with their open heart and they also like the art.
“I’m happy that they practise the art. It will not fade away. They will grow knowing about it they way I also learned it from my grandmothers.”