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Best-known for crafting large, panoramic, multi-scened imagery addressing issues of race and slavery, Kara Walker’s work in the arts has caught many an eye.

Her work with large cutouts and intricate maquettes plays out scenic stories in stark contrast of black against white. The effect is one of immediacy – a grim sort of shadow theater depicting tales and thoughts in stark detail, yet without defining characteristics.

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The beauty in Kara’s work lies in its storytelling. Each of her creations pulls you in with a slew of messages – confronting your psyche with complex, harrowing visuals.

As an African-American herself, the imagery she’s chosen in her work is quite close to her heart. It’s a riveting revelation of her innermost identity struggles, told in a visual story others can immediately relate to.

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Sometimes nightmarish, often unsettling and always thought-provoking, Kara’s artwork presses hard on the problem of racism in the history of the United States. Check it out for yourself.

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Read our article on the art of Ellen Gallagher