Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Spotlight: Kara Walker
Today's Spotlight is on the contemporary artist Kara Walker, whose work I enjoy very much. I have always been interested in race relations and the issues surrounding racism in our country, and these are topic with which Kara Walker contends in her pieces. I saw a large retrospective of her work at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York in 2007, and was enamored with her simple black-and-white cutouts pasted on the walls. They were at once theatre and funny, as well as serious and thorny.
Her work has come under fire in the past, mainly from the black community, who feel she misrepresents black people, catering towards wealthy white buyers and perpetuating racial stereotypes. On the contrary, as Budick also points out in her review, Walker's work challenges all races and members of our global community to realize, through embarrassment, the ways we rely on as much as detest racism; and furthermore, how history has led us to this point.