Women Made Out of Animals, Machines and Monsters

Wangechi Mutu, Riding Death in My Sleep, 2002

A Kenyan-born, Brooklyn-based artist is getting her first American museum show.

Wangechi Mutu's retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum features collages, videos and installations that explore themes like gender, race, pornography and globalization.

Mutu's pieces often portray female figures juxtaposed with magazine cutouts from animals, machines and monsters. She says she is interested in issues of race, globalization, and of course, gender.

"I use femaleness as another lens, so I don't even think all my creatures are women, I just think that I bring out the femaleness in them," she said.

Joan Erakit,  a journalist who is also a native of Kenya, was visiting the show. She said she identifies with Mutu's work as a black woman.

"She is not putting women into a box, and that is what I identify with the most, the women are in all various shapes, their bodies are not these perfect beans, and there is a certain freedom to her work," she said.

The exhibit is called "A Fantastic Journey" and is on view until March.

To listen to an interview with Mutu, click on the audio player.

Wangechi Mutu, The Bride Who Married a Camel’s Head, 2009
Wangechi Mutu, The Bride Who Married a Camel’s Head, 2009 ( Image courtesy of Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. Photo by Mathias Schormann )
Wangechi Mutu, Yo Mama, 2003
Wangechi Mutu, Yo Mama, 2003 ( Photo by David Allison )
Wangechi Mutu, Misguided Little Unforgivable Hierarchies, 2005
Wangechi Mutu, Misguided Little Unforgivable Hierarchies, 2005 ( Image courtesy of Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. Photo by Joshua White )
Wangechi Mutu, The End of eating Everything (still), 2013
Wangechi Mutu, The End of eating Everything (still), 2013
Wangechi Mutu, Funkalicious fruit field, 2007
Wangechi Mutu, Funkalicious fruit field, 2007 ( Image courtesy of Victoria Miro Gallery, London )
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