30 Americans: Wangechi Mutu

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: ExhibitionsLeave a Comment

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14 Days to 30 Americans

(born 1972)

On CNN’s African Voices, Wangechi Mutu described some of her work as “feminist intervention.” Her riveting, multilayered collages of women sometimes take on fantastical, cyborg characteristics. Mutu admitted to being obsessed with female bodies, particularly with how they can be exploited for hard labor and then deemed worthless—without beauty and undeserving of respect.

To me the female figure is enchanting and power-filled, it astounds me, it baffles me. When I was nineteen I saw middle-aged women in Nairobi protesting their children’s detention at a notorious torture prison. They slowly put a curse out—by disrobing and exposing their bodies—causing the riot police to freak out and flee. I’m interested in how the female body is enhanced and contorted for historical and cultural purposes.
–Wangechi Mutu, interview by Kirsten Fricke, “Sex Sells,” Beautiful Decay, December 2005 issue.

Learn more about the 30 Americans exhibition at http://arkansasartscenter.org/30-Americans.

To view Mutu’s work visit http://wangechimutu.com/.

Wangechi Mutu

photo: http://saintheron.com/

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