Artist Woman Crush Wednesday (African American History Month Edition): Julie Mehretu
I came across a few of her pieces at the Carnegie International in 2004 and I was engrossed in this massive paintings. Unfortunately, I always forgot her name but recognized the aesthetic every time I encountered her massive work. In researching this post, I realized I had assumed she was white and male. I think the scale and architectural nature of her work brought up some internalized patriarchal ish in me. I am used to seeing black female artists doing representational work that is focused on the African American experience from a women's perspective. I am on some level used to seeing black women make non objective abstract art (my mother, Alice Slade, being the biggest example of that in my life). I guess I still don't expect it.
The funny part about it is that I MAKE non objective abstractive art. And if you didn't know, I am a black woman. Hmm...no wonder I struggled with this internally. I felt like maybe I was doing something wrong by creating work that had nothing to do with race, class or gender. Believe me when I say that I tried to force myself to make representational art. And it's not really my jam. My background definitely comes out in my process. But I love my black artists, female artists and black female artists though.
I digress. Mehretu creates large scale layered paintings focused on spatial abstraction. The painting feel like a whirlwind of color with high energy. And a black woman made them.