BY Alek O. in Influences | 26 SEP 17
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Issue 6

Artists' Artists: Alek O.

Michelangelo Buonarroti, La Pietà Rondanini, 1553-64 

BY Alek O. in Influences | 26 SEP 17

As a shy teenager, I didn’t have a favourite song. Invariably, when asked, I fell into a nightmare of embarrassment. As a grown-up artist, I still experience a sense of disorientation when thinking about what other artworks might reflect something about my work. But there is a piece that makes me feel strongly every time, perhaps because it depicts my biggest fear.

In Michelangelo’s Pietà Rondanini, Jesus’s heavy, disproportionate body slips away from his mother’s arms, towards death. She has two faces; he has three arms. Michelangelo worked on this sculpture during the last days of his life, which could explain its many inconsistencies. Yet, they are what make it so human to me, and so sublime.

Michelangelo Buonarroti, La Pietà Rondanini, 1553–64, marble, height: 1.9 m. Courtesy: The Civic Collection of Achille Bertarelli Prints, Castello Sforzesco, Milan.

Alek O. lives in Milan, Italy. In early 2017, she had a solo show at Frutta, Rome, Italy.