Today’s BHM hero is: Kara Walker

During the month of February, BRTW ensemble members are selecting personal Black heroes to highlight everyday. These heroes may have spoken the magic words that first made them see their Black beauty, the people who inspired them to become artists, or even the person who taught them how to make proper mixed greens.

Kara Walker is a contemporary artist and painter. She received her BFA from the Atlanta College of Art in 1991 and her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1994. Walker first came to art world’s attention in 1994 with her mural Gone, An Historical Romance of a Civil War as It Occurred Between the Dusky Thighs of One Young Negress and Her Heart.

Walker is best known for this piece her room-size tableaux of black cut-paper silhouettes. In this piece it shows the relationships of black woman and men with white men during that the antebellum period. The piece invokes the strong feelings; when I first saw it I was completely over taken with emotion. Even though they’re cut out  tableaux’s it smacks you in the face and forces you to look at it. You’re automatically transported. You witness black women and white men in sexual acts,  Black women and white men dressed in fanciful clothing, and silhouette of a naked muscular black man being killed by a white man.Walker’s work encapsulates so much that isn’t spoken about race,sexuality and identity in this country. Here are a few examples:

 

-Kevin Green
co-founder, ensemble member