Art@Site Marco Cianfanelli Nelson Mandela South Africa

Marco Cianfanelli


Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
South African artist Marco Cianfanelli has constructed a monument to recognize the 50 year anniversary of peace activist and politician Nelson Mandela’s capture by the apartheid police in 1962. Mandela’s profile spans 50 steel columns measuring 21.32 and 29.52 feet (6.5 and 9 meters) high, each anchored to the concrete-covered ground. The shape and form of the sculpture are representative of the leader’s 27 years behind bars for his efforts to bring equal rights and governmental representation to the once racially divided nation. The statue of the nobel prize winner has been erected in howick, a town located 56 miles (90 kilometers) south from the city of durban in the countryside of the southernmost African country.
Cianfanelli says of his work ‘this represents the momentum gained in the struggle through the symbolic of Mandela’s capture. The 50 columns represent the 50 years since his capture, but they also suggest the idea of many making the whole; of solidarity. It po irony as the political act of mandela’s incarceration cemented his status as an icon of struggle, which helped ferment the groundswell of resistance, solidarity and uprising, bringing about political change and democracy.‘
Marco Cianfanelli was born in Johannesburg in 1970 and graduated, with a distinction in Fine Art, from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1992. He has had seven solo exhibitions – the most recent being data: process – and has won numerous awards, including the ABSA L’Atelier and Ampersand Fellowship.
Well-known for his bold public art pieces and large-scale sculptural works, he was a member of the design team for The Freedom Park, South Africa’s national monument to freedom, situated in Pretoria. And his monumental fragmented portrait sculpture, Release, was inaugurated to symbolically mark the 50th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s capture at the site in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands. Cianfanelli’s latest public works, of unprecede been realized in Abu Dhabi, UAE and he is currently working on projects in Texas, USA and Ede in the Netherlands.
Cianfanelli’s work embodies a vast variety of media and materials. Marrying the application of data to more expressive gestural acts, he aims to set up a tension or dialogue between the controlled accuracies of the digital realm and the uncontrollable realities of being human.
Key to his practice is an attempt to give shape to the convergence of multiple kinds of data, knowledge and experience, asserting the interrelatedness of all things. His work explores social hierarchies and channels of consumption as they relate to aspects of human desire, value, beauty and material relationships. Collapsing the categories and conventions that sort our experience, he strives to invent forms that bring together thoughts in relation to economics (statistics, values and economies of scale), geography (resources, place and ownership) and emotion (self, psychology and chemistry).
Often concerned wi the human form and psyche: in relation to itself, to others, in space, time, action and accumulation, Cianfanelli’s practice involves a complex distillation of initial ideas, expanded upon through intensive research, technical information, translation into digital form and weighed up against prospective media. He works a great deal with repetition, and subtle shift; his accumulated data is calibrated, assessed and digitally rendered; then ultimately reduced to numbers, lines and measurements.
His artworks can be found in public and private collections in South Africa (Sasol, Absa, Diadata, Bloemfontein Art Museum) Europe and the United States (MOMA NY, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art).
Marco Cianfanelli (born 30 November 1970) is a South African artist who has been involved in a wide range of projects involving art, architecture and public spaces. Cianfanelli combines computer-generated, data-driven applications with human, expressive, gestural acts to create nsion in his work. Cianfanelli is one of a handful of South African artists whose work successfully spans the public and domestic sphere. He began his career painting landscapes and continues to be concerned with romanticized space and that which is marginalized through the very act of romanticizing. Cianfanelli's slick, pared-down, iconographic recent works are intricately linked with the complexity of loving South Africa.
One of Cianfanelli's most recognisable works is the depiction of Nelson Mandela's head that is located at the site of Mandela's capture in Howick, South Africa.
Listed below are major African artists who have impacted the world of sculpture... many are still practicing today having had long, celebrated and illustrious careers. Edoardo Villa, SA (1915-2011)
Ben Enwonwu, Nigeria, (1917 - 1994)
Stella Shawzin, SA (1920 - 2020)
Ibrahim El Salahi, Sudan b 1930
Sydney Kumalo, SA (1935 - 1988)
Francis Nnnggenda, Uganda, b 1936
Arthur Azvedo, Zimbabwe b 1935
Ousmane Sow, Senegal (1935 - 2016)
Percy Konqobe, SA b 1939
Sunday Jack Akpan, Nigeria b 1940
El Anatsui, Ghana b 1944
Elkana Ongesa, Kenya b 1944
Wilma Cruise, SA b 1945
Norman Catherine, SA b 1949
Anton Momberg, b 1951
Anton Smit, SA b 1954
William Kentridge, SA b 1955
Willie Bester, SA b 1956
Tapfuma Gutsa, Zimbabwe b 1956
Deborah Bell, SA b 1957
Sokhari Douglas Camp, Nigeria b 1958
Guy Pierre du Toit, Sa b 1958
Speelman Makose Mahlangu, SA (1958 - 2004)
Olu Amoda, Nigeria b 1959
Brett Murray, SA b 1961
Jems Koko Bi, Cote D'Ivoire b 1966
Adeola Balogun, Nigeria b 1966
Angus Taylor, SA b 1970
Marco Ciafenelli, SA b 1970
Wangechi Mutu, Kenya b 1972
Claudette Schreuders, SA b 1973
Sanell Aggenbach, SA b 1975
Peju Alatise, Nigeria b 1975
Michelle Mathison, SA/Zimbabwe b 1977
Niyi Olagunju, Nigeria b 1981
Dylan Lewis, SA b 1982
Mary Sibande, SA b 1982
Lionel Smit, SA b 1982
Nandipha Mntambo, Swaziland b 1982