Rubber Tire and Stainless Steel
96″ H x 60″ D x 60″ W | 244 cm H x 152 cm D x 152 cm W
About the Artist: Chakaia Booker
Chakaia was born 1953, in Newark, New Jersey. She studied sociology at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, MFA and at the City College of New York. The artist lives in New York and works in Manhattan and Allentown, PA. She is well known for sculpture-found objects and recycled materials such as rubber tires, steel, wood frames etc.
Working from a studio in the heart of Manhattan’s East Village, Chakaia Booker creates large-scale sculptures from found objects, especially tires from cars, trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles. One of her pieces, It’s So Hard to be Green, is a high-relief wall of shredded tires that appear to look like a junk yard. The piece earned her much critical acclaim in the 2001 Whitney Biennial. In 2005, Chakaia Booker received a Guggenheim Fellowship in recognition of the expressive power and conceptual breadth of her sculptural works constructed from old rubber tires. It has been said of her work that it is an esthetic response to the urban landscape of northern New Jersey and a reference to African identity. For her, tires are metaphors for the range of skin tones of the African American. Booker’s sculpture is exploratory; it addresses universal themes, its context extends from the monumental 20th century sculptural tradition and many broad cultural issues of our times.