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South African Artist Bestows Art Car Treatment Upon BMW 7 Series Interior

In 1975, Herve Poulain had put the basis of all BMW Art Cars by commissioning American artist Alexander Calder to paint his BMW 3.0 CSL. A handful of four-wheeled canvases later, Esther Mahlangu had painted a BMW E34 525i with motifs of the Ndebele tribe. 15 years after that, Esther had been given a new canvas.
BMW 7 Series painted by Esther Mahlangu 20 photos
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But this time around, it’s not a BMW Art Car the artist had created. It is a BMW 7 Series, the full-size luxobarge with gesture control and other whatnots. In collaboration with BMW Individual Manufaktur, Esther Mahlangu had enhanced the interior of the 7er with bold, colorful design patterns.

Commenting on the outlandish fruit of her labor, 81-year-old Esther Mahlangu declared: “The patterns I have used on the BMW parts marry tradition to the essence of BMW. When BMW sent me the panels to paint, I could see the design in my head and I just wanted to get started!”

Mahlangu further explains that she had started by painting the small details first to get the feeling of the real wood trim. “My heart was full of joy when BMW asked me again to paint for them,” added the South African artist.

Besides the Esther-designed trim, the rest of the interior is purely BMW. Fine-grain Merino leather, Individual leather on the steering wheel, Alcantara headliner, it’s business as usual. Under the hood, this unique BMW 7 Series is motivated by a turbocharged six-cylinder engine that runs on high-octane jungle juice and develops 326 horsepower and 450 Nm of torque.

Because it is ECE registered, the one-of-a-kind BMW 740Li featured in the adjacent photo gallery and video can't be registered in the United States. On the upside, you can try your luck and make it your own via a silent sale. The highest bid automatically translates into ownership, with all proceeds from the auction benefitting the charitable art project The Art Room. 

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