The Esther Mahlangu BMW Art Car, a globally acclaimed piece of automotive art, is set to return to South Africa next year. Created by the 87-year-old Ndebele artist, Esther Mahlangu, in 1991, it marked her as the first woman to contribute to the BMW Art Car collection.
The colorful masterpiece, a transformed 1991 BMW 525i, has been on display at the BMW Museum in Munich, Germany, since its local debut in 1991.
Despite its permanent residence, the car has traveled internationally, being showcased at events in Hong Kong, New York, Miami, Shanghai, and Italy, according to IOL.
The Esther Mahlangu BMW Art Car will now return to South Africa in 2024 for a public exhibition. Following the exhibition, the car will be displayed at the Iziko Museums in Cape Town for a year.
It will then continue its touring schedule, with planned visits to the U.S. and the UK. Mahlangu, renowned for her bold large-scale contemporary paintings reflecting her Ndebele heritage, previously collaborated with BMW in 2016 to refine a BMW 7 Series.
This vehicle was showcased at the Frieze Art Fair in London in 2016 and has since become a part of BMW Group South Africa’s Heritage Collection.
Mahlangu expressed delight in using the Art Car as a platform to introduce her tribal art to a broad audience.