Monday, February 4, 2008

Meet Kara Walker - Artist

I love African American Art, I picked up a serious appreciation for the genre from my mother who is an avid collector. I think that black artists are just that, black folk that make art, so I can't stand isolating them by calling them, African American artists. These are highly talented folks that use African American history, people, and culture as the "muse" for their art and they should be celebrated for it. I would like to introduce you to one of my favorites, Kara Walker.

Kara Walker is a contemporary American artist that is known for her exploration of race, gender, sexuality, violence and identity in her artworks. Walker is best known for her room-size tableaux of black cut-paper silhouettes. See an example below -

In 1997, Walker, who was 28 at the time, was one of the youngest people to receive a MacArthuer fellowship also known as the "genius" grant, which comes with a 500,000 dollar financial prize. In 2007, Walker was listed among Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World, Artists and Entertainers.

4 comments:

Naima February 4, 2008 at 5:16 PM  

I saw her exhibit a the Whitney, some people believe it was vulgar, but I felt that it could have been even more graphic. It was slavery!
I don't get the whole "my oppressor, my love" aspect though. I think she playing into stereotypes rather than exploring or exposing them. Maybe her work is over my head

Mes Deux Cents February 4, 2008 at 7:32 PM  

Hi Profesor Tracey,

I don't get the point of rehashing stereotypes. What's the point; to make White people uncomfortable or to remind them of their good 'ol days?

As an African American I have no interest in seeing the same stereotypes that have been around for a few hundred years done by a Black artist.

Its art so the beauty of it is in the eye of the beholder I suppose.

Professor Tracey February 5, 2008 at 3:35 PM  

excellent points ladies, but think about the recent mess with Tiger Woods and lynching. Didn't he just grin and excuse it. Ain't that an example of loving the opressor.

I love that her work is in you face. I love the shadown images. We as black people are there, but not there.

Kyra July 9, 2008 at 10:57 PM  

There's an exhibit at the Arlington Arts Center (VA) featuring 11 contemporary black women artists. This exhibit is, in part, a response to Walker's artwork.

http://blackthreads.blogspot.com/2008/06/shes-so-articulate-opens-in-arlington.html

Enjoy!

Kyra
Quilter in VA

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