Sibande is the first in four generations of her family not to be a domestic worker. It was a fourth year varsity project which saw the birth of Sophie. She says she wanted to create a maid who had “stuff - things like her madam did.”
Sibande, a 28 year old artist who grew up in Barberton, Mpumalanga, and graduated in Fine Arts from the University of Johannesburg, has ‘arrived’ in town in every possible meaning of the word. Her life-size sculptures and photographic prints are right now in the process of being bought by the South African National Gallery and an American museum. She was also invited to enter her work in a competition for the United Nation’s headquarters in Bonn, Germany, and three of her print editions (10 to an edition) are already sold out.
In the 18 short months from her first solo show at Gallery Momo in Rosebank, Joburg, Sibande’s art is already fetching double its original price and is predicted to soar even further with the increasing international acclaim - she has been featured in the New York Times, and when we meet, has just touched down from her fourth art residency in Sylt, Germany. The other three have been in Paris, New York and Basel, Switzerland.
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