Paget Millard

At the New School, one work of art that speaks to me the most is the elaborate black silhouette cutout by Kara Walker that is displayed around the spiral staircase at Arnold hall. Prior to seeing this piece with the class, I was already aware and very intrigued by her art work as a fellow design teacher introduced her pieces to my class. I related it quickly to when I was younger and have a brief memory of having my portrait taken and then it later being cut out, just like Walker’s works are. The piece that is hanging in Arnold hall at first glance seems like a story of some sort, but as you look closer and really see the images that were cut out, you start to notice some hidden messages. Kara Walker was asked by the New School to create a mural to be displayed and she came up with a piece that reflected the hardships of 19th-century slavery and the underground railroad. One can pick up on these messages by some figure whipping another figure down the never-ending tunnel, subtle chains on the figures feet, and the figures hiding in what seems like enclaves in the tunnel. By knowing some background information on Kara Walker, I know some of her work has gotten a lot of media attention and awareness from others because of some of her controversial pieces. She is not afraid to go beyond what is uncomfortable and what may or may not be socially expectable. With that saying there are definitely some genera’s of people who are not going to agree with her work and argue her work is vulgar and too honest but as an aspiring artist I look up too and value her ideas and art because she has figured out a way to create pieces of work that is so beautiful yet, has so much history and is so real.