Even if you're not into art, I hope you will appreciate the marvelous talents of these women. All of them have received many awards and are exhibited nationally and internationally. At least, drop some of their names at a party and see if your friends know anything about them. Watched for glazed over eyes and then enlighten them.
According to Artnet.com, her works, often based in photography "utilize both the aesthetics of Western painting and the heavily sexualized blaxploitation films of the 1970s. Through appropriated imagery the artist addresses issues of femininity, race, and beauty alongside personal histories and childhood memories." She also draws inspiration from pop art and visual culture to examine ideas around femininity, beauty, race, sexuality, and gender.
American born Kara Walker (1969) is best known for room-size tableaux of cut paper silhouettes that focus on the "underbelly" of racial and gender tensions in America i.e. racism. She addresses controversial themes such as history, race, sexuality, power, and repression. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Atlanta College of Art and her MFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 1994.
According to TheArtStory.org, "Fresh out of graduate school, Kara Walker succeeded in shocking the nearly shock-proof art world of the 1990s with her wall-sized cut paper silhouettes. At first, the figures in period costume seem to hearken back to an earlier, simpler time. That is, until we notice the horrifying content: nightmarish vignettes illustrating the history of the American South."
Thematically, she is a history painter "with a strong subversive twist" who helped revive the tradition of European painting of scenes based on historical or literary events. Her long titles are appropriate to this tradition.
Motivated by the need to redefine photography for "contemporary relevance, Simpson was producing work that engaged the conceptual vocabulary of the time, as clean and spare as the closed, cyclic systems of meaning they produce."
"Her initial body of work alone helped to incite and significant shift in the view of the photographic art's transience and Malleability" text quotes: lsimpsonstudio.com.
She pieces magazine imagery with painted surfaces and scavenged materials into collages which depict the split nature of cultural identity while referencing history, fashion, and contemporary African politics. Her work is her own form of storytelling.
Exhibits of her work have been shown worldwide. Her first solo exhibition at a major North American opened at the Art Gallery of Ontario in March 2010. Her first US solo exhibition opened at the Nasher Museum of Art in March 2013
● Emma Amos ● Carrie Mae Weems
● Ellen Gallagher ● Amalia Amaki
● Joyce J. Scott ● Alison Saar
● Faith Ringgold ● Elizabeth Catlett
● Sandra Rowe ● Julie Mehretu