29 April 2016 // Serena Asselman //Rotterdam
Todays inspiration is Esther Mahlangu, she was born in 1935 in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, South Africa and belongs to the South Ndebele people. Mahlangu began painting at ten years old, following the teachings of her mother and grandmother. A tradition of her native South Ndebele people is for females to paint the exterior of houses. It is in this cultural tradition where Mahlangu began her artistic journey.
Mahlangu's art references patterns found in clothing and jewelry of the Ndebele people. The colors and patterns she uses are typically very colorful and geometric. Her paintings are large in scale, graphic and full of bright contrasting colors. These colorful pattern painting gained attention from all over the world. In 1991, Mahlangu was commissioned by BMW to create an art car, as other BMW Art Car creators had done before (including Andy Warhol, David Hockney and Frank Stella). The car, a BMW 525i, was the first "African Art Car" which was painted with typical motifs of the Ndebele tribe.