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Fons Americanus by Kara Walker


Fons Americanus by Kara Walker


Kara Walker’s Fons Americanus (2019) challenges the history of slavery in the colonies. Associating with sugar plantation, its rough, greyish-white surface resembles a rotted cake left unattended after a celebration.


The centrepiece is a female figure with torn clothes, spilling blood-like water to engulf the Atlantic Ocean, mocking the hypocrisy of beauty. The lower basin is reminiscent of #WinslowHomer ‘s The Gulf Stream (1899), depicting the ominous themes of death and danger. A smaller sculpture separated from the main fountain houses the head of a young boy shedding tears into a puddle.


“Ugly” is not just about the unaesthetic aspect of this work, it also carries connotations of aggression, hypocrisy and violence. It is a switching-off of beauty filters to make an honest voice for injustice.


🧑🏻‍🎨 #KaraWalker @kara_walker_official


🎥 Kara Walker, Tate, Vernissage TV, AP Archive


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