ART COLLAGE: Wangechi Mutu : A Fantastic Journey by Alexandra Thom
  Wangechi Mutu likes to keep things moving. In her studio, she cuts and tears images from fashion publications, National Geographic and pornography and merges these fragments with found objects, glitter, dirt and hand-painted surfaces to create the elaborate collages of hybridized women that have earned her international renown. Her figures crouch, bend or stretch as if to spring forth at any moment.
The works in themselves seem to move; in her diptychs, the two panels are often linked by a fast-paced line that screeches from one image to the next. Her vivid paints slide down the image and coalesce in pools. This effect adds yet another layer of activity and life to her work, which already seems animated by the contortions of her larger-than-life women and the vitality of her artistic process.
Mutu’s cinematic instinct is evident in her collage, so it is no surprise that the artist also works in installation and video, two mediums that enable her to bring her fantastical other-worlds to life. The slick surfaces of the mylar on which Mutu paints seem metaphorical for the slippery task of categorizing the artist herself: born in Kenya, educated in Wales, New York and New Haven, black, young and female, Wangechi Mutu skirts any sort of niche that might try to contain her.
~Alexandra Thom
October 2013