This Kenyan Artist Has Made History

The entertainment industry is usually filled with lots of drama. A week never goes by without hearing of some salacious scandal. But those are just mere distractions aimed at clouding us from those doing great work. We’re celebrating Wangechi Mutu, a Kenyan-born artist whose sculptures are now on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

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“Amid the deep existential crisis we are immersed in, 'The Seated'—conveying a presence that is as much celestial as it is deeply human—aim to send a signal that things can and shall be different.” —Wangechi Mutu ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ NOW ON VIEW—For the first time in 117 years, the niches on the facade of The Met Fifth Avenue display sculptures as part of a new annual artist commission series, inaugurated by Kenyan-American artist #WangechiMutu. Her installation, “The NewOnes, will free Us"—featuring four bronze sculptures individually titled "Seated, I, II, III, and IV"—engages in a critique of gender and racial politics that is as pointed as it is poetic and fantastic. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ See "The NewOnes, will free Us" on view on The Met's facade now through January 12, 2020. 👉 Read more at the link in bio.⁣ #MetWangechiMutu #MetFacade⁣ ⁣⁣ 🎨 Wangechi Mutu. Kenyan, born Nairobi 1972. The Seated (ordered here III, II, I, IV), 2019. Bronze. Courtesy of the Artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels. #TheMet @wangechistudio

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This is a first for a Kenyan artist. This is also the first time that the famous museum has filled up the specific space where Wangechi’s artwork is on display since it opened its doors.

Wangechi spoke to the New York Times about her bronze sculptures saying that they’re representative of a people supporting the weight of something. The African-themed sculptures, she explained, “are representative of where a king would sit. Essentially they’re holding the weight of the king. Or the royalty of that culture.”

Her inspiration is drawn from the Congolese and Yoruba cultures. Wangechi started her career as a sculptor after completing her studies in Yale and Cooper Union Institute. She has an art studio in Nairobi and Brooklyn, USA and her two kids study in Nairobi.

Kenyans continue to prosper in different fields and art seems to be one that is less talked about. Hopefully, this will inspire more Kenyan artists to continue producing quality work because the world is waiting.

About Anthony Mbugua

Blogger, writer and a millennial trying to figure it all out. I also like sharing the success of other millennials. Welcome to my world.

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