Females carry the marks, language and nuances of their culture more than the male. Anything that is desired or despised is always placed on the female body.— Wangechi Mutu
The most simplistic Wangechi Mutu quotes to discover and learn by heart
I'm not a policy maker. I'm not even a very great activist. My main thing is to make things that speak for the culture that I live in.
I hope my kids see imagination has power to change everything.
A lot of my work reflects the incredible influence that America has had on contemporary African culture. Some of it's insidious, some of it's innocuous, some of it's invisible. It's there.
In most cases I start off with a sketch.
But I'm also thinking about real images: out of National Geographic, out of fashion magazines, out of The Economist, out of Time. I'm making a sketch, but I'm using the existing images that have been put out in the world.
What is Africa, anyway? Even I don't know what Africa is, entirely.
But I know that it's not some of these simplified sound bites you hear in America.
Always acknowledge your position in the food chain... They eat because you grow the food.
Everything is deeply affected by the dominant culture.
Consumerism is huge in the US. This is by far the wealthiest [nation], but also the biggest consumer in the world. Which means that a lot of things get used, a lot of things get wasted, and a lot of things get churned out in ways that are wasteful.
Kenya is rapidly developing its industry and manufacturing, and its cultural identity as a new country. We had a humongous history pre-British, and when we were colonized and violently reshuffled, we had to decide who we were again. We couldn't rest on the stories and the cultures of our great-grandparents.
I have this amateur side attraction to, and interest in, the sciences and biology and physics and evolution. Paleontology is of interest to me. I'm interested in the way these fields have helped us understand how we are human and why we are human. I'm also from the area that is considered to be the cradle of mankind.
And luckily, for whatever reason, I've found people who are interested in living with and owning and existing around the DNA of my mind, which is my visual work. I've found collectors who are willing to put money down to live with my work. So I can't criticize the whole mechanism. But I can criticize it as an artist, in spite of the fact that I benefit from it. And there are problems with it.