Kenyan artist Wangechi Mutu is being honored with the National Artist Award from the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Aspen, Colorado, to be presented at the institution’s 21st Annual Recognition Dinner on July 20, 2017.Last yesr Mutu was the recipient of the Rees Humanitarian Award for her work celebrating and empowering African communities.
Wangechi Mutu was born and raised in Kenya and has made Art in New York for almost twenty years. Mutu's work focuses on the conversations that surround perception, in both personal and political realms. She's primarily interested in how identity pivots around a kind of social contract that can only be broken through personal and political reinvention - a rewriting of the codes that have been used to represent us.
Her work proposes the need for a multiple consciousness and an awareness of identity as performance, to be able to remake the rules that bind our imagination. In order to re organise the reality that serves us unsavory images of ourselves, Mutu creatively dismantles old tropes and intricately pieces together new ones. Through performance, collage paintings, video and sculpture she continues to think about the complicatedness of being and how essentially one's physical body plays such a huge role in determining one's experiences, their survival, and the ability to understand what that is.
“Art is my way of speaking about things that are unspeakable, it is my truest voice and my strongest form of resistance,” said Mutu in a statement. “It is such a privilege to be recognized in these times for doing what I most love doing, it gives my work more urgency. I know we can do better for one another and for our earth, and I am deeply committed to using creative means to bring attention to violence and inequality against women and to the parallel destruction of our Earth.”