Kara Walker

(b. 1969)
Kara Walker is known for her exploration of race, stereotypes, gender, and identity throughout American history. She is best known for her large-scale tableaux of collaged silhouettes amidst black-and-white pastoral landscapes. Often filled with brutal and harrowing imagery, Walker provocatively illustrates the country’s origins of slavery in the antebellum South. “I didn’t want a completely passive viewer. Art means too much to me. To be able to articulate something visually is really an important thing,” the artist explained. “I wanted to make work where the viewer wouldn’t walk away; he would giggle nervously, get pulled into history, into fiction, into something totally demeaning and possibly very beautiful.”