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Esther Mahlangu’s acclaimed art adorns the new Rolls-Royce Phantom

Dr Esther Mahlangu, South African artist and much loved cultural ambassador, has unveiled ‘The Mahlangu Rolls-Royce Phantom’.
Esthar Mahlangu Rolls-Royce Melrose Gallery
Image: Clint Strydom

At 84 years of age, Dr Mahlangu achieves another impressive milestone by becoming the first South African to be commissioned to paint an artwork for a Rolls-Royce Phantom. Each Phantom is designed with a ‘Gallery’, a glass box inserted into the dash board, which allows the owner to personalise their vehicle.

Esther Mahlangu Rolls-Royce Melrose Gallery

A disruptor and visionary from an early age, Dr Mahlangu was the first person to reimagine Ndebele design on contemporary mediums and has painted anything from planes, cars, motorbikes and bicycles to skateboard decks, war helmets, canvas and walls in her illustrious career that spans three decades.

Esther Mahlangu Rolls-Royce Melrose Gallery

Represented by the Melrose Gallery, her practice has seen her collaborating with many of the world’s leading museums, curators, art fairs, celebrities and global brands. She has achieved almost pop icon status of her own although remaining firmly grounded in her traditional Ndebele custom.

Esther Mahlangu Rolls-Royce Melrose Gallery

César Habib, regional director for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Middle East and Africa was delighted to unveil ‘The Mahlangu Phantom’: “It’s a striking expression of contemporary African art. Phantom’s Gallery is a unique environment for patrons of the marque to express personal and often highly creative artworks and we are honoured to showcase Dr Mahlangu’s work in this Phantom’s serene interior.”

Esther Mahlangu Rolls-Royce Melrose Gallery

Justin Divaris, CEO, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Johannesburg said, “This is a very proud moment for us. Not only because we are the first in the world to collaborate with a South African artist to create a piece for a one-of-one Phantom Gallery, but because we had the honour of working with none other than Mama Esther”.


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