“Art is my way of speaking about things that are unspeakable, it is my truest voice and my strongest form of resistance,” Wangechi Mutu told Artnet. The Nairobi and New York-based artist explores questions of female representation, black identity, environmental catastrophe, and cultural trauma in her semi-figurative artworks. Her densely layered, oddly gnarled compositions show hybridized female figures who are simultaneously exquisite and grotesque, fantastical and forlorn.
Mutu’s collagraph, Second Born, is new to the Zane Bennett Contemporary collection. Mutu created it with Pace Editions in 2013, the same year as her first solo exhibition in the United States, Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey at the Nasher Museum of Art. The mixed-media piece is a powerful example of Mutu’s contemporary myth-making. By interweaving fact with fiction, she opens up possibilities for a pantheon of symbolic female characterizations, markedly different from those that appear in either classical history or popular culture.
Above: Wangechi Mutu, Kenyan Vibe.
Wangechi Mutu, Second Born,
24 kt gold, collagraph, relief, digital printing, collage and hand-coloring
36 x 43 in.
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