Some four years ago BMW presented a unique 7 Series with interior trims designed by none other than Dr. Esther Mahlangu. The world-famous South African artist signed off on a truly unique 7er and now she’s back, this time working with Rolls-Royce and their Phantom. A special customer of the British company wanted the Gallery inside his Phantom to be designed by Dr. Mahlangu and she happily obliged.
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In case you’re not on par with the latest info on the eight-generation Phantom, the Gallery is a term used for the space in the dash, facing the passenger, where customers can create true masterpieces if they so desire. In this case, Dr. Esther Mahlangu was appointed with creating a stunning vision for the occupants of the car. By accepting the challenge, Dr Mahlangu becomes the first artist to create an artwork in this way. This unique motor car is named, ‘The Mahlangu Phantom’ in the artist’s honor.
“I am delighted to unveil ‘The Mahlangu Phantom’, a striking expression of contemporary African art. The Gallery is a unique environment for patrons of our marque to express personal and often highly creative artworks and we are indeed honoured to showcase Dr. Mahlangu’s work in this Phantom’s serene interior,” said César Habib, Regional Director, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Middle East and Africa.
Considered, in South Africa, as a national treasure, Dr. Mahlangu has devoted her life to sharing her cultural heritage through vibrant geometric abstract paintings and murals inspired by the Ndebele ethnic group. The 84-year-old is one of Africa’s most revered living artists and her works can be found in many important museums, corporate and private collections around the world.
With the goal of preserving her cultural heritage, Mahlangu founded an art school at her home in the Mpumalanga province where she mentors young artists in the traditional style of Ndebele design. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of ‘The Mahlangu Phantom’ will be donated to the school and will be used to support a retrospective exhibition that will narrate her fascinating life story and celebrate her invaluable contribution to contemporary African art.