Wangechi Mutu, ‘Try Dismantling the Little Empire Inside You’, 2007, Sotheby's: Contemporary Art Day Auction

Overall: 95 1/2 by 104 in. (242.5 by 264.1 cm.)

From the Catalogue

"Kenya is rapidly developing its industry and manufacturing, and its cultural identity as a new country. We had a humongous history pre-British, and when we were colonized and violently reshuffled, we had to decide who we were again. We couldn't rest on the stories and the cultures of our great-grandparents." —Wangechi Mutu

Courtesy of Sotheby's

Brooklyn Museum, Global Feminisms, March - July 2007

Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2007

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