Sunday, September 30, 2012

Wangechi Mutu

Her work is of equal parts beauty, charm, intrigue and an unusual sense of glamour. Wangechi Mutu finds herself among the most celebrated and collected artist of her times. She is featured in the world’s most elite magazines and shows in every major venue. Wangechi’s creations reflect the ivory and bronze sculpture of the High Benin Culture and the marvelous collages of Romare Bearden. Mutu’s work is equally marvelous! Mutu’s mixed medium pieces are also akin to the works of the lovely Bette Saar in approach. Mutu’s Kenyan background is a strong element of her visuals without limiting it to being purely ethnic.  This is a good thing; her works are universal in appeal. The spirit and the reality of Wangechi Mutu is ultimately; like all great artist, uniquely her own. The requirement of originality is met superbly by Mutu and we are all the more enriched by it.

Mutu is a graduate of Yale and like her fellow graduates Kehinde Wiley and John Currin represent the contemporary leaders of the 21st Century art scene in a grand manner. Wiley and Currin are almost exclusively painters while Mutu embraces medium as varied as sculpture, installation and video. In this she is very much a force in the art world. Mutu is best viewed (as is a chacteristic of all the best artist’s work) in person. A walk through the works of Mutu is a treasured phenomenon, it is the greatest pleasure.

“I’m really trying to pay homage to the notion of the sublime and the abject together and using the aesthetic of rejection, or poverty, or wretchedness as a tool to talk about things that are transcendent… we really do have to pick up pieces and remake and rework things and translate them into something new and hopeful.“
Wangechi Mutu
She is an artist very much attuned to the cultural, astethic and political climate of our times. All of this brilliantly evident in her art and life. Wangechi Mutu is to celebrate!