Girl Tribe Recommends: Art
By Avery Moulle-Berteaux
Out of Body
Artist Tschabalala Self is known and renowned for her paintings/collages, depicting black women, often created with cut up pieces of fabric and nothing else. Oftentimes, Self creates exaggerated portrayals of the female body and has said that “I am attempting to provide alternative, and perhaps fictional, explanations for the voyeuristic tendencies towards the gendered and racialized body; a body which is both exalted and abject.” Self’s unique style of art has gained praise around the world, as she appears in art museums from Miami, to Oslo, to Los Angeles.
Gone with the Wind is often considered to be an American classic, however, the movie’s depiction of the character Mammy portrays negative stereotypes of black women. An exhibition at the California African American Museum reflects on these negative stereotypes “considering a century of complex manufacturing of black femininity, power dynamics, and mass-media messaging that still affects black women’s body image, lack of agency, and sense of self”.
Cauleen Smith, a renowned filmmaker from New York uses her talent to reflect on the challenges that African American women face throughout their lives. Smith’s exhibition, Mutalities, at the Whitney Museum of American Art, is composed of two films, Sojourner and Pilgrim. Mutalities crosses the boundaries of time and introduces many influential and inspirational black women from history.