April 02, 2007

Camptown Ladies



LA artist Kara Walker's work, named Camptown Ladies, is another controversial piece in the Rubell Collection. It is made up of silhouettes cut out of black paper and pasted on the wall. It is one of the best-known examples of her body of work that explore stereotypes about blacks and women with narratives from the old south and the time of slavery. The above piece is only a partial view of the installation that covers an entire wall. It finds inspiration in an old folk song from the mid-19th century, about workers racing horses for entertainment in make-shift towns during railroad construction. In Walker's work though, rather than racing a horse, the jockey is riding a black woman while dangling a carrot in front of her face. At the end of the piece (not pictured), the carrot ends up in the woman's derriere. Click on the image to see detail.

The use of black material on white punctuates her racial agenda. It's a thought-provoking piece that engages you with flowing imagery that looks simple but makes reference to very complex cultural issues.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Where is this collection housed/on exhibit?

artpup said...

The Rubell Family Collection collection is housed in a warehouse in the Wynnwood Art District of downtown Miami.

Jeff said...

Love the artist's spin...the carrot ends up in the woman's a.. Quite interesting. By the way, what is the artist's ethnic background?

artpup said...

Kara Walker is a black American artist.