The amazing Kara Walker has a new show up at the Whitney in New York right now called ‘My Compliment, My Enemy, My Opressor, My Love‘. For those who don’t know of her work, Kara Walker was born in Stockton, California, but then moved south to Georgia when her father took began teaching at Georgia State University. While living there she began experiencing a huge racial division that still lingers, which was very different from her multicultural childhood in California. But she used this racism as a fuel instead of letting it hinder her. She’s received a BFA from the Atlanta College of Arts, and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. She’s now showed her work in many major galleries and even won the MacArthur Fellowship.
I personally love her work. Her paper cutouts are so simple, but tell such complex stories. When I think of cut outs like the ones she does, I think of Disneyland, where you get your portrait cut out. But in her work for example, you have the image of a white confederate soldier raping a black girl, while her brother watches, horrified, like in her piece ‘The Battle of Atlanta’. It’s this kind of intense imagery and social commentary that make her work so moving.
If you’re in New York any time until February 3rd, do yourself a favor and check out her wonderful exhibit.