It’s official, Kaleidoscope has finished the events for Black History Month. The last one was a presentation about Kara Walker, by one of the art professors, Leticia Bajuyo. We did not realize that Kara Walker was still alive, until another art professor told us. So the plan next year is to have Kara Walker as a capstone speaker for next year’s Black History Month.
Kara Walker’s art work is remarkable. She explores race, gender, sexuality and violence. She uses silhouettes to do her artwork which is amazing because you have to use the right details to show a certain person. For example, to show a Caucasian person, she made the nose more sharp, and to make an African American person she made the nose bigger. Shown all over the United States, from San Fransisco to New York, her work has even made it to The Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa.
She takes inspiration for her artwork from the movie, “Gone With the Wind.” She also portrays African-American women in the South during the time of slavery. Her works show a white man, a Southern solider, raping an African American female, while her brother watched. By that you know her work was very controversial. Other artists have not liked it because they felt her artwork “used racist caricatures.” However, Kara Walker made it clear she doesn’t want to create pleasing art that raises easy questions.
Kara Walker’s work is powerful. She talks about how uneasy she is with her imagination on YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6t-S_DFxCI.
There are numerous articles on Kara Walker and she has won many awards. Hopefully, we will get to see her on campus next year. She currently works in the School of Arts at Columbia University.