1972, Nairobi, Kenya
Born and raised in Kenya, Wangechi Mutu moved to New York in the mid-1990s to study art and anthropology at the Cooper Union and sculpture at Yale. She is best known for collages based on images clipped from magazines (including fashion, pornography, and National Geographic) and from books about traditional African art. She joins these disparate body parts with hand-drawn passages and pooled ink washes on nonabsorbent Mylar. The resulting figures suggest hybrids of human and machine, disease and power, seduction and violence. These works invert Western pictorial stereotypes of Africa as a "dark continent" and of women as helpless sexual objects. Recently, she has incorporated her collages into large-scale installations executed directly on the gallery walls.