Wangechi Mutu is a Kenyan-born artist currently residing in Brooklyn, New York. Her work is a visceral response to personal and social critiques of gender, culture, and mass media imagery. Exploring the female body as a site of engagement and provocation, her figures are lurking hybrids that possess an abject yet alluring beauty. The artist’s signature aesthetic samples from a multitude of image sources such as medical diagrams, glossy magazines, anthropology and botany texts, pornographic materials and traditional African arts, travel postcards, and mechanical and hunting publications. Combined with tactile materials like glitter, fake pearls, and synthetic hair, Mutu’s fleshy images occupy environments that are embedded with a physical and conceptual depth, resulting in a distinct form of mythmaking.
Wangechi Mutu was the recipient of Deutsche Bank’s 2010 Artist of the Year award and was honored as Brooklyn Museum’s Artist of the Year (2013). She has exhibited at major institutions including recent one-person shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami; the Brooklyn Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia; Nasher Museum of Art, North Carolina; Staatlichen Kunsthalle Baden-Baden; Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art; Wiels Contemporary Art Center, Brussels; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Miami Art Museum. Mutu recently participated in the Kochi-Muziris Biennial, the Paris Triennial: Intense Proximity, the International Center of Photography’s Triennial and the Moscow Bienniale. Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art; The Studio Museum in Harlem; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art; and Tate Modern in London.
Photo credit: Kathryn Parker Almanas.