Since very early in time SPW has included Sexuality and Art as one topic of its Newsletter. In doing so we aimed at making visibility to artists from the global South, the diaspora or at the margins of the art market mainstream. In 2015, when we re-designed the website, we have further enlarged the space given to visual art expressions, which translate into form and color the multiple domains of gender and sexuality that constitute the center of our informative and analytical work. Artwork is now systematically presented in in the slide show of the home page.
We are therefore thrilled when are able to we identify artists whose work explores gender, sexuality and its many intersections – such as race, class and post-coloniality – but are also politically engaged with these matters. This is the case of Wangechi Mutu. As described in the profile posted by the Victoria Miro Gallery:
“ … born in Nairobi, Kenya, educated in Britain and America and resident in New York since the mid-nineties, Wangechi Mute’s work has often seemed to bear the gaze of a perpetual outsider, simultaneously drawn to and repulsed by the discovery of another fresh outrage in the lands in which she travels. Much of Mute’s work to date has been concerned with the myriad forms of violence and misrepresentation visited upon women, especially black women, in the contemporary world. Her paintings and collages often feature writhing female forms, their skin an eruption of buboes, mutant appendices like gun shafts or machine gears sprouting from the sockets of joints, their bodies half human, half hyena. “
In 2013, the Brooklyn Museum of Art (BAM) held a full retrospective of Wangechi Mutu work. This month Mutu has launched a new art platform: Africa’s Out! In her own words:
“I want people to understand where gay rights are in East Africa and do something that actually makes an impact,” she says. “And makes this issue visible, makes it beautiful, makes it interesting, makes it relevant for American minds and American people, and also brings together the African community that includes the Diaspora, the African American, Caribbean folks, and all those people who actually care about human rights, gay rights and people’s lives, and people’s expression and their fullness. So that’s what Africa’s Out is, it’s this big, big powerful love fest of politically minded cultural makers coming together to do good stuff, important stuff quickly.”
On June 5th, 2015, a first fundraising event was took place in New York where many other African and African descent artists were present.
We dearly thank Wangechi Mutu for her generosity in authorizing her beautiful painting If we live through she will carry us back to be posted on the SPW website. We also thank Anja Ziegler, from the Victoria Miro Gallery who facilitated our the contact with the artist.