Legendary Ndebele artist Esther Mahlangu has been honoured in Tribeca, New York, with a mural dedicated to her work.
The painting spans a two-lane road and features Ndebele symbols by a York-based artist Imani Shanklin Roberts, who took to Instagram to celebrate the South African artist.
In a lengthy post, Shanklin Roberts paid tribute to gogo Mahlangu:
" When I first came to New York to attend @prattinstitute in 2009 I didn't imagine that this would be a city I would have a child in, create lasting memories in, let alone have success in my artistry in. Creating a mural in honor of an artist I've known all my life, in a city that isn't welcoming to many, feels unreal.
"It feels like an aligning moment many of us have when the universe co-creates with us and is in agreement with our path.
"To you NYC,I present Xola, (Stay in Peace) --((A South African Name I named my daughter--* Alignment*))) a piece that is representative of a feminine energy force that is all encompassing, inclusive and awe-inspiring. Xola welcomes you to charge and open your divine feminine here amidst all that tries to stand against you. This is my form of resistance and protest-- my expression. #blessed -- photo credit (@ericmtownsend )) THANK YOU!!
The mural is part of a tourism partnership between South African Tourism's US office, South African Airways (SAA) and bicycle-sharing platform Citi Bike, including branded bikes and bicycle docking stations.
When beautiful people in one of Manhattan's most expensive neighborhoods capture and appreciate your African x Feminine powered piece enough to track its progress from work & home windows -- you have to remain affirmed that your purpose and language is powerful! #grateful @citibike @southafricantourism #wowsouthafrica #esthermahlangu #art #mural #imanisr #purpose #TriBeCa #artxafrica #dotart #okayafrica
A post shared by Imani Shanklin Roberts (@imaniniasr) on
In 2016 Mahlangu was again commissioned by the BMW Group to put her unique artistic touch on a BMW 7 Series, and the vehicle was displayed at the Frieze Art Fair in London.
Simultaneously, the original BMW 525i Art Car was part of the exhibition "South Africa: the art of a nation" at the British Museum, highlighting her key role in South African art.