For our #CollectionPick series, we ask members of our community to reflect on specific artworks in Ruby City’s permanent collection and share why these works speak to them. Alexandra Murphy, one of Ruby City's Visitor Services Associates, explains their pick:
Pick a work you like in our collection.
Wangechi Mutu, Living Through Strange Times, 2004.
How would you describe this work in 3 words?
Fecund, affected, colorful.
Why does this work stand out to you?
The figure, standing out against a largely barren background, bursts with detail. Machine wheels, holes and a brooch bloom from the figure like flowers.
What other artists does this piece remind you of? Why?
Living Through Strange Times reminds me of the silhouette installations of Kara Walker, such as Insurrection! (Our Tools Were Rudimentary, Yet We Pressed On) at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Both place figures in expressive poses against stark backgrounds. However, Mutu’s figure bursts with color, life and emotion; this figure is more visually disruptive than Walker’s satirical, shadowy figurants.