Kara Elizabeth Walker (born November 26, 1969) is an American contemporary painter, silhouettist, print-maker, installation artist, filmmaker, and professor who explores race, gender, sexuality, violence, and identity in her work. She is best known for her room-size tableaux of black cut-paper silhouettes. Walker has been the Tepper Chair in Visual Arts at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University since 2015.
- There is I suppose, historically, this seminal moment in the lives of African Americans where one becomes black. Frantz Fanon and everyone talks about it. There is a moment when you go from subject to object and I guess that was my moment…
- On moving to Georgia at a young age and being defined as “Black” in “Kara Walker: ‘There is a moment in life where one becomes black’” in The Guardian (2015 Sep 27)
- I think there are many open-ended questions that artists can pose and we can ask communities to feel empowered enough to reply, respond, rebel, and feel amazed by the relentless spiraling of thought and image and action that is the artist's profession.
- On what the artist should aim for in “Art Talk with Kara Walker” (National Endowment of the Arts; 2012 Feb 1)
- Expectations on the performance of race and gender are simultaneously high and low, depending on who is looking or asking. I prefer to keep all the options in the air, to try and better understand the conundrum that inequality creates---not just in culture, but internally.
- On the expectations for an African American artist in “Art Talk with Kara Walker” (National Endowment of the Arts; 2012 Feb 1)
- There’s no diploma in the world that declares you as an artist. It’s not like becoming a doctor or something. You can declare yourself an artist and then figure out how to be an artist.
- On becoming an artist in “‘There’s No Diploma in the World That Declares You an Artist’: Watch Kara Walker Lay Out Her Advice for Art Students” in artnetnews (2018 Jul 12)