Wangechi Mutu by Deborah Willis

BOMB Magazine — Wangechi Mutu by Deborah Willis.BOMB Magazine — Wangechi Mutu by Deborah Willis

From the introduction by Deborah Willis to her interview with Wangechi Muti at her studio:

Wangechi Mutu was born in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1972.  Mutu’s work explores the interplay between “the real” and fiction, combining ideas found in literature, history, and fables to examine female identity and women’s roles throughout history. She has made sketches and created collages and video about the female body since her days at Cooper Union. In my view, allegory is central to her work and is made apparent through the use of collage, and fragmented or constructed imagery. The complexity of her layering of objects, mark-making, and collage  is achieved through her use of translucent materials, photography, and drawing. She also works with performance, a central component of her video installations. For some 15 years now, I have had the distinct pleasure of seeing Mutu pose for the camera for other artists. As I’ve followed Mutu over the years, I have had opportunities to see her work in museums here in New York City, in Toronto, and in galleries in cites both large and small. I love watching people engage and question as they view her work. My own writing and artwork also focuses on the black female body, and I am intrigued by the way Mutu manages to successfully focus her vision on sexuality, desire, and colonialism—while also incorporating girl culture, as well as popular and art historical references. She keeps her viewers engaged as she delves into and visually illuminates universal stories about ritual and myth. In this oral history, I hope to introduce new readings of how her work is viewed, consumed, collected, appreciated, and critiqued. [read interview]

Wangechi Muti website