It Was All A Dream



L+T: Your work is often phantasmagorical and sometimes slightly spooky. What frightens you, on a visceral level?
: Things that perforate the skin and the body really freak me out…and yet I’m obsessed with the idea of the punctured body…The qualities that make the body elastic and impenetrable are the same things that make it hideously vulnerable vulnerable and hard to imagine opened up. I always say I can’t watch horror films because I think that way already.

L+T:Who are your favorite authors? Singers?
: Zora Neal Hearston, Amos Tutulo, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Flannery O’Conner, Arundahti Roy, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Octavia Butler, Robert Farris Thompson….Nina Simone, Lhasa, Casandra Wilson Skin of Skunk Anansi, Omou Sangare, Michele Ndege O’chello, Bjork, Imani, Laura Marling, Edith Piaf, Meklit Hedero

L+T: What are your favorite things about Brooklyn?
: The feeling that it’s off the grid…out of the matrix. It’s ethnic, cultural, religious diversity. Somethings about it remind me of Nairobi; affordable old buildings. You don’t need to make a reservation for brunch. My backyard. The Artists and Creators who live in the Borough. The Mermaid Parade. Drum circles and kite flying in Prospect Park.

L+T: How has becoming a mother changed your workday?
: You know, I wasn’t one of those women who looked forward to motherhood. I was so afraid she’d disrupt my studio schedule, which I’m very particular about, but as it turns out, she’s a joyous distraction!

All images by Wangechi Mutu.


Wangechi Mutu
“Exhuming Gluttony (Another Requiem)”
2011, Mixed media installation
Courtesy the artist and Image ©FMGBGuggenheim Bilbao Museoa, 2011
Photo: Erika Barahona-Ede

Wangechi Mutu
“Drowning Nymph I”
2007, Mixed media ink, paint, plant materials, plastic pearls on x-ray paper
17 x 14 inches
Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery

Wangechi Mutu
“I Sit, You Stand, They Crawl”
2010, Mixed media ink, paint, collage on Mylar
97 x 61-1/2 inches
Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York

Wangechi Mutu
“Old Blue Eyes”
2009, Mixed Media on Mylar
42 x 52 inches
Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York