This therapeutic poem “the art of kara walker” presented for my health and your—whatever—here in the kinté space is yet another wonderful way to systematically reduce the size of the kinté space audience. Just when we were enjoying over 30,000 page views a month (and this is a conservative number), Bryan had to go and do this…

Several years ago I met Kara Walkerin person at that glorified gift shop at the bottom of the petroleum company skyscraper here in Westwood, California. When you study the origins of this “museum” that is, the flesh man Armand Hammer, you should find some sexual politics going on that is somehow relevant to the sexuality hovering somewhere around Kara Walker. The key is that “we” need to forget about how a person gets the keys to the kingdom. Like the unwashed barbarians “we” are (like Norse barbarians in a palace of Byzantium) “we” need to be overwhelmed and preoccupied by the pomp and pageantry of intellectual bling bling. Unfortunately, when I met Kara Walker, I failed to do this and I had to write a poem about it.

“Behind every great fortune there is a crime,” and the genius grant awarded to Kara Walker and others like Stanley Nelson can be misinterpreted as a “great fortune” by televisionary W2 laborers like me—and, so here we are: a few, crass, country rubes looking for criminal acts. The pointed indictment that is “the art of kara walker” can clearly be seen as an artifact of the ignorant claiming that the innocent are guilty. However, I’m willing to take the risk and stake my social life on what’s written here. This sort of lunchroom politics have been with me since childhood so I’m seasoned. I’m primitive minded: I let the work of the artist speak to me because what is called “art” is, to my mind, just another form of communication. This poem summarizes my “limited” understanding of Kara Walker. It’s based on what I think she is saying to me. Either my misunderstanding of her is so profound that we should never meet and bridge so vast a gulf, or my understanding is horrifically exact and we should never meet again… Either way, she wins the award. “the art of kara walker” is a win, win.


Words by . . . . . . . Bryan Wilhite

XHTML/CSS Design by . . . . . . . Bryan Wilhite