Wangechi Mutu, ‘Family Tree’, 2012, Brooklyn Museum

Image rights: Image courtesy of Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. © Wangechi Mutu. Photo by Robert Wedemeyer

Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey, Brooklyn Museum, 2013

Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Museum purchase with additional funds provided by Trent Carmichael, Blake Byrne, Marjorie and Michael Levine, Stefanie and Douglas Kahn, and Christen and Derek Wilson, 2013.1.1.

About Wangechi Mutu

Wangechi Mutu explores the violence and misrepresentation that women, particularly black women, experience in the contemporary world. Referencing artists such as Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Chris Ofili, and Romare Bearden, as well as art-historical movements like Surrealism, her drawings and collages graft together images from anthropological, ethnographic and medical texts, Vogue, and pornography. Mutu commonly works on paper or Mylar, applying her sampled figures along with ink, acrylic paint, and materials like plastic pearls. She has spoken of her art—which includes sculpture and installations with similar coiled, hybrid imagery—as using the aesthetic of rejection and wretchedness to explore the hopeful or sublime.

Kenyan, b. 1972, Nairobi, Kenya, based in Brooklyn, New York