Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wangechi Mutu

Breakthrough Kenyan artist Wangechi Mutu was born in Nairobi, Kenya but lives and works in New York City where she moved almost 20 years ago to study anthropolgy and fine art.
Her work often focuses on the themes of black identity across the diaspora and womanism, connecting the dots of those hot-button issues in the black experience across cultures that tie us all together. 

I first became aware of her from (of all things) an article in Vogue magazine that profiled the emerging artist. If I remember correctly, it was probably focused on her beautiful "exotic" features and stature more than her work and core influences.

Anyway, I found myself really drawn to her work which at the time was comprised of painted and collaged images of the female form, many including images cut from actual fashion magazines. Speaking as a person addicted to ripping out and filing away pages from fashion magazines, I could relate. 

The figures have been called grotesque, sci-fi, and oddly beautiful 'saterical mutilations' that create a new kind of improved-upon beauty that speaks to the never ending quest for superficial improvement that has become part of Western group think. 

Smart lady that you should check out. Also, she looks phenomenal in a hat.

More information:

Source: Elle, Saatchi Gallery


Chic Noir said...

I remember the article mentioning her hair and who she goes to for type of styling. I think she was quoted something like:

African-American hair stylist-for conditioning and upkeep(&color?)

Dominican hairstylist- For making your hair super straight.

African hairstylist- for braids

I think she was featured in a shape issue so that's probably why they made mention of her body. The article mentioned Metu being a student at Yale a number of times.

Chic Noir said...

One more thing that I can pull up

She mentioned that she got her images from black tail magazine(gross even for ladies that like blue mags and movies) and Vogue.

Brigitte said...

Thanks chic noir - I have to admit that the fact that Vogue AND Black Ta*l (I can't even type that without cringing) is kind of amusing.

I had that article saved for the longest time and somewhere along the line it got lost. Thanks for filing in where my memory failed :)

Chic Noir said...

No problem brigitte.

The newest issue of AVogue has Kate Moss on the cover. It's the age issue and their is an interview with Miss Dianne Carrol(tp) for the 70's age group. Also Geneviee Jones has her own little piece (tp) in the mag too.

Brigitte said...

I haven't rec'd the newest Vogue yet. Can't wait to see Ms. Carroll.