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Kara Walker: “A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby”

I am in the USA, studying towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Los Angeles. It is a fairly comprehensive course, in which several subjects are covered including: Film Studies; Acting; Health; Communication; Production; History of the Arts; Scenic Studies; American Culture; and even the English Language.

IMG_8506During my stay both in New York or Los Angeles, whenever I have the opportunity, I try to attend cultural events. In New York or Los Angeles these are never lacking!

One my interests is definitely visiting Museums. A visit to a Museum is always an excellent opportunity to appreciate, to understand, and even evoke our capacity to get lost in Art, through thoughts, feelings and emotions. This process is experienced in different ways, by each person, or group of people, which visits the space and appreciate the works.

It was on one of these visits that I discovered the work of Kara Walker.

Kara Walker is an African-American artist who has created and used her art to enhance African culture and to fight for various causes. Her work stands against racism, and calls for the respect of women, and the end of all forms of violence against women, who can still be seen as weaker and disadvantaged. She has sought to enlighten us with her Art, showing the inequalities that persist in our present society. Inequalities that can divide people and change their circumstances.

IMG_8505Reading about Kara Walker was very enriching, but being present in her Exhibition and seeing the power of the message in her Art, was beyond my expectations. It was a unique experience, only possible to feel standing there in its presence.

Kara Walker’s work is very complex and presents several layers, full of symbolism. This forces the public to spend more time observing the pieces, which ranged from drawings of different sizes, to the sculptures designed in sugar and caramel. I did notice that, when in direct contact with her work, some people just wanted to look at the pieces for enjoyment. They were not necessarily interested in understanding the depth of the message behind the piece.

Unfortunately, this is a tendency which is becoming quite prominent in our contemporary societies. People prefer to think that it is much simpler to ignore the problems that have created the reality we have today.

Life is full of unique and beautiful moments, but on the other hand there are also cruel moments, where only the hand of God can free us from the evil and bring peace. We all need to fight for worthy causes, and to help solve the problems that afflict others. I hope that you feel this need the next time you visit a Art Exhibition.

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