Kara Walker  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Kara Walker (born November 26, 1969) is a contemporary American artist who explores race, gender, sexuality, violence and identity in her work. She is best known for her room-size tableaux of black cut-paper silhouettes.



Walker was born in Stockton, California. Her retired father is a formally educated artist, a professor, and an administrator. Her mother worked as an administrative assistant and was inspired by her family to reveal her own artistic talents. Walker's education includes an MFA at Rhode Island School of Design in Painting/Printmaking, and a BFA in Painting/Printmaking at Atlanta College of Art.


Some of Walker's exhibitions have been shown at The Renaissance Society in Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Walker has also been shown internationally and featured on PBS. Her work graces the cover of musician Arto Lindsay's recording, Salt (2004).

Walker's silhouette images work to bridge unfinished folklore in the Antebellum South, raising identity and gender issues for African American women in particular. However, because of her truthful approach to the topic, Walker's artwork is reminiscent of Andy Warhol's Pop Art during the 1960s (indeed, Walker says she adored Warhol growing up as a child). Her nightmarish yet fantastical images incorporate a cinematic feel. Walker uses images from historical textbooks to show how white people depicted African American slaves during Antebellum South. Some of her images are grotesque, for example, in The Battle of Atlanta, a white man, presumably a Southern soldier, is raping a black girl while her brother watches in shock, a white child is about to insert his sword into a nearly-lynched black woman's vagina, and a male black slave rains tears all over an adolescent white boy.

In 1997, Walker—who was 28 at the time—was one of the youngest people to receive a MacArthur fellowship. In 2007, Walker was listed among Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World, Artists and Entertainers, in a citation written by fellow artist Barbara Kruger.<ref> Barbara Kruger (2007) Walker lives in New York and is on the faculty of the MFA program at Columbia University.

See also


Kara Walker: Pictures From Another Time. Ed. Goldbaum, Karen. Seattle: Marquand Books, Inc. ISBN 1-891024-50-7

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Kara Walker" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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