Almost certainly the most iconic of Sanell Aggenbach’s work of the last few years is Madre Pietà, Aggenbach’s distinctive re-interpretation of Michelangelo’s marble sculpture. The original is a seminal Renaissance masterpiece, merging classical ideas of beauty, naturalism, youth and maternal affection. Instantly recognisable, it is also the only artwork which Michelangelo ever signed.
Aggenbach’s take is witty and slightly ironic, reimagining the two figures as stuffed rabbits gleaned from her children’s toy box. While there is a comical pop art element to the rabbits’ rounded extremities, the sculpture is also … touching and sympathetic. Aggenbach deftly contrasts a rigid medium saturated with masculine connotations (bronze) with plush figures that are fundamentally feminine and nurturing, accentuating the ideas of maternalism and youth in Michelangelo’s original.
- Tim Leibbrandt
Photo credit: Michael Hall
Specialists in contemporary art from South Africa. Established in 1913. South African artists are part of the global conversation. We seek to make their voices heard.