Kara Walker‘s known for her frank and varied explorations of race, gender, violence, and sexuality. A controversial new collection of work, now at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. in New York City, tackles today’s white supremacy and our country’s history, now within the Trump era.
As the artist has garnered a reputation (and in some circles, criticism) for making cartoonish representations of grave realities. The artist’s statement for this show begins by addressing that and what she believes is expected of her by “being a featured member of my racial group and/or my gender niche.” She adds later that the collection of works on paper and linen (and made using ink, blade, glue, and oil sticks) are “not exhaustive, activist or comprehensive in any way.”
“How many ways can a person say racism is the real bread and butter of our American mythology, and in how many ways will the racists among our countrymen act out their Turner Diaries race war fantasy combination Nazi Germany and Antebellum South – states which, incidentally, lost the wars they started, and always will, precisely because there is no way those white racisms can survive the earth without the rest of us types upholding humanity’s best, keeping the motor running on civilization, being good, and preserving nature and all the stuff worth working and living for?” she says.