Wangechi Mutu is a trained sculptor and studied anthropology but first came to prominence through her collage works, which fuse a diversity of sources culled from the image gluttony of late 20th century and early 21st century life. Mutu draws from the aesthetics of traditional ritual arts, science fiction, and Afrofuturistic funkdaleia. She makes use of materials from 19th century prints, fashion magazines, scientific periodicals, pornography, and ethnographic photographs to explore the contradictions of female and cultural identity and makes reference to colonial history, contemporary African politics, and the representation of female in media. She combines her sourced materials with ink, paint, and reflective material to realize lusciously intricate full figure works and portraiture. Since the late 1990’s Mutu’s artworks have been keenly focused on the creation of surrealist characters that are hauntingly grotesque and seductive while they critique systems of power and patriarchy, both political and aesthetic.
The Hybrid Human brings together several pieces, including complete sets of two series the Histology of the Different Classes of Uterine Tumors from 2006, and The Original Nine Daughters from 2012.
Interview with Wangechi Mutu - PORT
Installation photos from the "Wangechi Mutu: The Hybrid Human" Exhibition // Photo Credit: Deann Orr