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BMW Art Car Program Revisits the Past in South Africa

South Africa's Esther Mahlangu is part of the BMW Art Car program for the second time — focusing her work on a 7 Series this time.

John Scott Lewinskiby John Scott Lewinski

South African artist Esther Mahlangu has entered rarified air for the BMW Art Car series — returning to the program to create her second piece and to celebrate her role as the first woman to create art on a BMW 525i Sedan. Her new creation on a BMW 7 Series will come to London amidst a celebration of South African art.

Not just any car would do for Mahlangu’s trademark colorful geometric creations, so she worked with the BMW Individual Manufaktur to start on a “canvas” of specially made real wood interior trims. BMW Individual Manufaktur oversaw the full manufacturing process for this new Art Car. Installing a special white wood trim to be painted before sealing them.

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The Art Car will be shown to the public for the first time from October 5-9 at this year’s Frieze Art Fair in London’s Regent’s Park. Mahlangu’s 7 Series will then be offered for silent auction with the proceeds going to charity.

The winning bidder will end up with unique artwork set inside a fully equipped, right-hand drive vehicle. The mobile work of art cruises on 20-inch BMW Individual light alloy wheels, while the driver sits on fine-grain Merino leather in Smoke White/Black.

 

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The leather trim includes the rear panelling of the seats, the upper and lower instrument panel as well as the door panels. A BMW Individual leather steering wheel in Piano finish completes the interior vibe.

The BMW 740Li is powered by a smooth, BMW TwinPower Turbo, in-line six cylinder gasoline engine putting out 326 horsepower. That’s linked to an 8-speed Steptronic transmission.

The BMW Individual 7 Series by Mahlangu will be unveiled at the BMW Lounge at Frieze in London with other artwork by the South African artist. The exhibition dovetails nicely with the efforts of the British Museum across town as it prepares its South Africa: the art of a nation show for late October.