October 12, 2011

Kara Walker

Still from 8 Possible Beginnings or: The Creation of an African-America, Parts 1-8

Animation shadow puppets

Gone, An Historical Romance of a Civic War as It Occurred Between the Dusky Thighs of One Young Negress and Her Heart


Cut paper on wall

Slavery!Slavery! Presenting a GRAND and LIFELIKE Panoramic Journey into Picturesque South Slavery of “Life at ‘Ol’ Virginny’s Hole’ (sketches from Plantation Life)” See the Peculiar Institution as never before! All cut from black paper by the able hand of Kara Elizabeth Walker an Emancipated Negress and leader of her Cause

Cut paper on wall

Endless Conundrum, An African Anonymous Adventuress

Cut paper on wall

Burning African Village Play Set with Big House and Lynching
Cut paper in display box

Kara Walker was born in 1969. Walker’s work shows themes in mainly sexuality, race, repression, and power. “Most pieces have to do with exchanges of power, attempts to steal power away from others” (Kara Walker, 2003). She uses past images of history to explore the racial issues of the present. At the age of 27 she received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur grant. She now works as a professor of visual arts at Columbia University.



  1. I like how the artist does not show any facial emotions but mainly focuses on the movement and tries to depict a specific activity being done.

  2. I liked how there were no facial expressions, yet I could imagine the facial expressions of these little people, especially the second piece. The artists pieces reminded me of story-telling with shadow puppets. It was interesting how Kara Walker's pieces also told stories.