Kara Walker Essay

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Kara walker is an American artist, born 1969 in Stockton, California. She is well known for her work with silhouettes, which addresses America’s race issues. Power, repression, history, race, and sexuality are all themes of her artwork. Since she was three years old, Walker knew she wanted to be an artist like her dad. “One of my earliest memories involves sitting on my dad’s lap in his studio in the garage of our house and watching him draw. I remember thinking: ‘I want to do that, too,’ and I pretty much decided then and there at age 2½ or 3 that I was an artist just like Dad.” —Kara Walker Walker’s dad is Larry Walker. He was the chair of the art department at the University of the Pacific until Kara turned 13. Then he was offered a position at the Georgia State University, and the family moved to Stone Mountain. Before then, Walker had not encountered any racially based situations. California was more integrated then Georgia was at the time. Her artwork takes the theme of what it does today because of racism in Georgia at that time. She was continuously reminded that she was African American, and she was made fun of because of it. She had a firsthand witness to racism in America, and that helped form her artistic style into what it is today. Her influences included Andy Warhol and Robert Colescott. Andy Warhol had an omnivorous eye and moral distance. Robert Colescott inserted cartoonish Dixie sharecroppers into his version of van Gogh’s Dutch peasant cottages, which influenced her as well. She ended up going the Atlanta College of Art, focusing mainly on her paintings and printmaking. She graduated in 1991 with a BFA. Then Walker went to Rhode Island School of Design for three years after that to continue her education. She received her MFA in 1994. 1994 is also the time she began to get attention from the art world. Her mural was showcased at the Drawing

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