BMW has commissioned more than its fair share of art cars, including a 525i sedan vibrantly painted by Esther Mahlangu back in 1991. Now 25 years later, the German automaker and South African artist have teamed up again. But this time you’ll be able to actually buy the rolling work of art… or at least one wealthy patron will.
The collaboration centers around a new 7 Series. This time they’ve left the exterior alone, commissioning Mahlangu to paint the interior trim pieces in her traditional, colorful Ndebele motif.
“My art has taken me all over the world and I have seen many places,” said the artist. “I have painted many walls and objects and my work is in many museums but I am still Esther Mahlangu from Mpumalanga in South Africa. My heart was full of joy when BMW asked me again to paint for them.”
The carmaker wasn’t just going to install her work in just any old sedan, of course, so the BMW Individual division also gave it a special silver exterior paintjob, 20-inch wheels, and a cabin swathed in top-of-the-line full-grain leather in off-white and black with woven stitching and piping and a white Alcantara headliner.
Based on a 740Li in right-hand drive, the result is decidedly more low-key than their previous collaboration. It will be auctioned off for charity during the Frieze Art Fair in London, with proceeds going towards The Art Room – a project that supports childhood development.