Born in 1969, Kara Walker grew up wanting to be an artist just like her father. And she succeeded in doing so, as she is now an artist of international renown and with a body of work that touches upon crucial issues such as racism, gender, sexuality and identity. In 2014 Walker created a gigantic sphinx sculpture made of sugar inside the Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg, New York, as a tribute to its workers, its 120-year history and with a reference to the long strike that took place there in 2000.
The sphinx had the face of a black woman, and its paws were in fact clutched fists that gave a sense of held-back anger and aggression. The sphinx's left fist has its thumb between the index and the middle finger, in a gesture that is considered an insult in some cultures; this particular fist has been detached from the larger sphinx sculpture and is travelling to Greece for Kara Walker's exhibition on Hydra. As a sculpture in its own right, the fist now has a name, FIGA, and will be exhibited as a relic at DESTE's seaside exhibition space throughout the summer.
Courtesy DESTE Foundation
Cover Image: Jean-Baptiste Debret, Cadeirinha de Baiana (A Bahian’s Little Chair), 1826.