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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Informing Contexts – Considering Other Artists – Wangechi Mutu

For sometime now I have been aware of the work of Wangechi Mutu. Born in Nairobi, Kenya, she uses allegory to construct imagery using various mediums including collage, translucent materials, photographs, drawing and illustrations.  Her work focuses on sexuality, colonialism and girl culture.  Her sources include Vogue and other fashion magazines.  She uses fashion poses in her work that are tweaked and distorted just enough to make you wonder where they came from and if they are real or chimeras of animals and humans.

Her work has a message too.  She wants to raise awareness of how the black female body has been violated and revered by Europeans.  Black female bodies have been seen as sexual machines or work animals.  Very often their bodies were objectified as an excuse for cruelty and inhuman practices.

There has also been an absence of black models and figures in fashion magazines and contemporary art for some time.  Mutu has been working on changing that.

Figure 1:, 2017

My intent is to create work that is influenced by Mutu but is produced using a photographic process.


Figure 1: All images FROM: (2017). Wangechi Mutu. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 January 2017].

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