Women in Africa and the Diaspora: “Wangechi Mutu”

Considered by many to be one of the most important contemporary African artists of recent years, Wangechi Mutu is a Kenyan-born, New-York based artist known for her elaborate collaged works on pieces of Mylar and sculptures. Her work boldly explores the contradictions of female and cultural identity, race, colonialism, and sexual identity just to name a few. Constructing collages using fragments from fashion and travel magazines, pornography, African art books, images drawn from science fiction as well as hand-drawn and painted elements, Mutu’s work is filled with provocative juxtapositions of the female body. With these collages, she draws the viewer into conversations about the eroticization of women’s body, particularly African women. Mutu observers that, “Females carry the marks, language and nuance of their culture more than the male. Anything that is desired or despised is always placed in the female body.”

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