“Salvaging such defiant beauty from scraps of resilient black, rubber [provides] a compelling metaphor of African American survival in the modern world.” –Chakaia Booker
Mark Borghi is pleased to announce exclusive representation of Chakaia Booker with a solo presentation at Art Miami 2019.
Chakaia Booker fuses ecological concerns with explorations of globalization, racial, economic, and gender differences by recycling discarded tires into complex abstract sculptures. Booker began to integrate discarded tires, residential, construction, and farm materials into large, outdoor sculptures in the early 1990's. Tires resonated with her for their versatility and rich range of historic and cultural associations. Booker slices, twists, and weaves this medium transforming it into radically new forms and textures, which withstand outdoor environments. For her, the varied tones of the rubber parallel human diversity, while the tire treads suggest images as varied as African scarification and textile designs. The visible wear and tear on the tires evokes the physical marks of human aspirations. Equally, Booker’s use of discarded tires references industrialization, consumer culture, and environmental concerns.
The process of creating sculpture is one of deconstructing the tires and reconstructing them into a work of art. Booker begins the day by creating her first sculpture, an elaborate head piece intricately designed from woven fibers.
Booker received a B.A. in Sociology from Rutgers University in 1976, and an M.F.A. from the City College of New York in 1993. She gained international acclaim at the 2000 Whitney Biennial with It’s So Hard to Be Green (2000), her 12.5 x 21 x 2 foot wall-hung tire sculpture. Booker received the Pollock-Krasner Grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She has exhibited in group and solo exhibitions nationally and internationally.