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Wangechi 1

Whoever told you it is bad to judge a book by its cover knows nothing about books as material objects that owe their fate to market forces. There have been books that have lived (or died) in the market place because of their covers.

For the American edition of One Day I Will Write About This Place, Wainaina Binyavanga did not leave things to chance. He collaborated with Wangechi Mutu, a Kenyan artist who has held the world spellbound with her mind-bending artwork and sculpture.

It is collaborations like this that lets the world know that big and amazing things are happening in Africa in the sphere of art and aesthetics, across forms and mediums.

Mutu lives in Brooklyn. The Yale University graduate work has been featured in galleries the world over. But her first solo exhibition in the US took place at the Duke University Nasher Museum and was titled  Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey.

Here is how her work is described:

Mutu’s works often make the female body central, and confront the viewer with “plant-like or animal-like elements and intertwined abstract patterns” [7] that merge the organic and the surreal with human forms. These hybrid creatures have bodies made of a combination of machine, animal, human, and monster parts. Mutu constructs these warrior-like females out of magazine cutouts, sculpted and painted surfaces, and found materials. — Wikipedia

 The Book Cover

 

 

One Day Cover - Wainaina

Mutu’s Work: 

onceuponatime

Wangechi 4

Wangechi 2

bride

nasher-mutu-family-tree-two

Wangechi 3

 

Wangechi 1

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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

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