Kara Walker : Becky Deihl

Kara Walker has always been an artist I come back to. When I start struggling with making art, just looking at her work gets me inspired again. She puts so much energy behind the images she makes, possibly enough to give me a little boost.

Walker is using such an overlooked subject matter with her silhouettes. The simple style she’s using, I feel, gets people to look at her work and see the societal problems most viewers want to ignore. Working on such a big scale helps with this. Her works engulf the viewer, making it impossible for the viewer to look away.  Her current works do this too. We saw a recent show of hers in New York and most of her work is massive, 20-foot-tall drawings with live size figures in some case. Even though they were set in the antebellum South, as mentioned in the reading, they were focused on contemporary issues, a few reminding me of people tearing down the Confederate Memorials. It’s amazing how she can capture so much into these simple drawings.

As mentioned above, I always end up coming back to Walker’s work, which speaks for her work. She’s able to handle hot topics and not scare people off with overly graphic images. I think that’s important for the African-American art movement and history in general, because people are looking and learning.

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