Painted on mylar, Wangechi Mutu’s Backlash Blues conveys an otherworldly quality: the paint and ink suspends on the plasticy vellum-like surface with an unnatural luminosity. Using a variety of techniques from airbrush to stencilling, controlled spills, and detailed brushwork, Mutu’s image poses as a composite of gesture; collaged photographic elements merge seamlessly into the painterly aesthetic. Incorporating both the organic patterns of dyed fabric and the exaggerated flourish of fashion illustration, Mutu’s wild figure exudes an apocalyptic glamour, fusing tribal ‘primitivism’ with the exotica of radical chic.

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