We are so excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with Wangechi Mutu, a Brooklyn based artist with an impressive and extensive list of exhibitions all over the world and inspiring, moving works.
Mutu’s work challenges and engages the viewer, drawing you into her surreal realm of real and unreal, dream and nightmare, and cross cultural references presented and placed in an eerily recognizable landscape. Her work deals directly with race, gender, colonialism and globalization. Her use of collage, installation, video, sculpture and performance blend together seamlessly to create dreamlike images that speak from the page about power and beauty.
Her most famous pieces (including the pieces featured in our soon-to-be released board book What do you see?) typically center around fantastical female figures. They often deal with intersections and interactions of femininity and Blackness, life and death, power and pain. Her work, influenced by her upbringing in Kenya and life in Brooklyn, combines elements as diverse as African tradition and Western fashion to critique and observes the spaces she exists in.
The power of Mutu’s work is undeniable, the strength of her characters emanates from the images and their resilience resonates with the viewer in both the brightly colored images of women dancing and the grim and bloody landscapes of other works.
We've taken the processes and the themes in her work and brought them to an unlikely place: a children's board book. What do you see?, available on our site for pre-order on August 15th, is a new take on a seek-and-find book that will challenge what you may expect from a children's book.