Ndebele artist Esther Mahlangu

By Drum Digital
02 March 2011

SHE sits with a straight back on a grass mat on the floor. It’s decorated with green and red wool woven in diamond and wavy patterns. The same colourful, bold designs cover the walls outside her home here in Mpumalanga. And now for the first time artist Esther Mahlangu’s unmistakable works are on show in the prestigious Museum of Arts and Design in New York.

In what is regarded as the greatest achievement of her long career, Mahlangu’s decorated BMW 525i is heralded as one of the highlights of an exhibition making waves in America. For Mahlangu this honour is the end-point of a process that began some 20 years ago when she became the first woman to be commissioned to paint a BMW as part of a series of works by renowned international artists. She joined the likes of American art genius Andy Warhol and today her iconic BMW has put her among a handful of African artists exhibiting in New York.Read the article in the Drum of 10 March 2011 – and share your views below.

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