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The Bold Figurative Sculptures of Mary Sibande

South African artist Mary Sibande explores race, history, gender, and other social themes, her visceral mixed-media figures constructed from fiberglass, cotton, resin, and other materials. She uses a sculptural representation of herself, Sophie, to also look at her own family’s generational narrative. Her practice also includes photography, integrating the themes of her sculptures and installations.

South African artist Mary Sibande explores race, history, gender, and other social themes, her visceral mixed-media figures constructed from fiberglass, cotton, resin, and other materials. She uses a sculptural representation of herself, Sophie, to also look at her own family’s generational narrative. Her practice also includes photography, integrating the themes of her sculptures and installations.

A recent statement describes the top works in this post: “Sibande debuts in New York her avatar, Sophie, in a face off between her past and future,” it says. “The blue worn by her grandmothers as oppressed domestic workers cedes to the figure in purple—a reference to the 1989 Purple Rain Protests, when Apartheid protesters seized a police water cannon spraying them with purple dye (to indict them visually) and turned it on their assailants. Sibande marks a generational turn of empowerment, yet with tendrils of more demons to quell.”

See more of her work below.

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