Wangechi Mutu

Wangechi Mutu is a contemporary Kenyan artist noted for her work conflating gender, race, art history, and personal identity. Creating complex collages, videos, sculptures, and performances, Mutu’s work features recurring mysterious leitmotifs such as masked women and snake-like tendrils. Her pastiche-like practice combines a variety of source material and textures to explore consumerism and excess: for a 2005 work titled Cancer of the Uterus, Mutu employed a medical pathology diagram, facial features cut from a magazine, fur, and a heavy application of black glitter to create an eerily distorted face. The almost science fiction-like nature of her imagery has placed her work within the realm of Afrofuturism, and her practice is often discussed as providing an alternate course of history for people of African descent. Deeply concerned with Western commercialism, Mutu has explained that “a lot of my work reflects the incredible influence that America has had on contemporary African culture. Some of it's insidious, some of it's innocuous, some of it's invisible. It's there.”


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