In the weeks leading up to our SOAPBOX benefit, we’re publishing a series of interviews to highlight some of the awesome artists participating in the event. First up is honorary co-chair, artist Wangechi Mutu.
What is your name?
What is your neighborhood?
The Bed Stuy.
What motivates or inspires your creative practice?
- Left-leaning radio shows
- Live music
Your bio, in six words or less:
Cutting History’s pictures, radically redefining realities!
Please tell us about an artist, curator, activist, or project that has influenced you.
Wangari Maathai’s activism and powerfully pointed rage. Arundhati Roy’s fiction, homegrown writing and activism. Binyavanga Wainaina, my brilliant friend/ writer’s strategic, public “coming out” and general rebel-rousing.
Favorite book, movie, or album about NYC?
Another Country by James Baldwin.
What do you love most about your neighborhood?
1. The good mornings in the morning.
2. Anonymity and authenticity.
3. My own house.
4. Pre-hipster creative saturation!
What’s your favorite sound, texture, or color?
Kinky silver water scales.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Wangechi Mutu is a Kenyan-born artist who creates, lives, and works in Brooklyn, New York. Her work is an active personal critique that engages the complexities of the daily issues, situations, and environments that affect some of the most disempowered beings of our planet. Her elegantly horrific figures lurk in a hybrid world, trapped between consciousness and unconsciousness, silences and noises, life and death, real and unreal. They assert their vulnerability while simultaneously revealing the potency of regeneration and power within.
Wangechi Mutu was the recipient of Deutsche Bank’s first Artist of the Year award (2010) and was honored as Brooklyn Museum’s Artist of the Year (2013). She has exhibited at major institutions including recent one-person shows at the Brooklyn Museum; the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia; the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, North Carolina; Staatlichen Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany; Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art; Wiels Contemporary Art Center, Brussels; Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Miami Art Museum.