Wangechi Mutu One Hundred Lavish Months of Bushwhack 2004

  • Not on view

In this collage a fantastical quasi-reptilian figure is posed aggressively, as if she is about kick a potential predator with her stiletto-clad left foot. However, upon closer inspection it becomes clear that blood is hemorrhaging from her head and mangled right foot. Mutilated and unstable, she is supported at her ankle by a lilliputian creature. The artist has described women as "sensitivity charts"—their bodies function as "barometers, tracking the health, or more often the sickness, of any given society’s own body politic." In One Hundred Lavish Months of Bushwhack, conflict and strife have literally scarred the female figure's body.

Mutu executes her work on Mylar, a plastic film that causes the paint to pool, further emphasizing the glittering and leprous sheen of the skin. She incorporates imagery from ethnographic catalogues, pornography, and fashion magazines, reconstructing the female body into something elegantly disordered. Her women are adaptors, mutations of culturally imposed ideals of femininity, beauty, and sexuality. Often compared to Hannah Höch and Romare Bearden, pioneers of photomontage, Mutu explores the inherent disjunctions of the medium, combining images of the female body with contemporary narratives of African culture and tradition, articulating a historical, cultural, and personal narrative of postimperialism, feminism, and globalization.

Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights since 1980, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2007, p. 235.
Cut-and-pasted printed paper with watercolor, spray paint, and pressure-sensitive stickers on transparentized paper
68 1/2 x 42" (174 x 106.7 cm)
Fund for the Twenty-First Century
Object number
© 2024 Wangechi Mutu
Drawings and Prints

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