How American History Is Constantly Challenged By African American Artist Kara Walker Essay
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How Americans romanticize their history is constantly challenged by African American artist Kara Walker. Her controversial work has broken huge boundaries of race, gender, power and violence. But Walker’s art never had the intention of pleasing viewers or answering easy questions. Winning the John.D and Catherine T. Mac Arthur Foundations genius grant at only twenty seven years old, Walkers art has taunted Americans to recognize the legacy that slavery has left behind.
A move to Atlanta, Georgia in Walkers adolescence exposed her to the southern bigotry that inspired her art in later years. However, only when she had completed her Masters of Fine arts in Rhode Island, did she introduce themes of race into her work. On the entry of her first major work in 1994, she says that much of her art work was exploring “…the problematics of making art as a young black woman when constantly barraged and faced with a bunch of stereotypes about what it even means…” (MoMA, Kara Walker). Kara Walkers art demonstrates that the racism seen a century ago is still present in American society today. The stereotype used frequently is the negress or black mistress, often over-sexualised and portrayed as a sex toy. Walker believes Western culture has created this specific representation of what it means to be black. Her work as a solo artist has been displayed in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and internationally the Tate Liverpool in