Keys to the Coop
Kara Walker has succeeded in developing a signature visual vocabulary that is instantly recognizable for its engagement with both nineteenth-century imaging techniques and the historical period of the American antebellum South. In Keys to the Coop, Walker depicts a young African American girl in bold silhouette, holding the decapitated head of a chicken in one hand, while in the other she nonchalantly twirls a large key. Walker portrays a self-empowered anti-heroine who possesses the key to her own salvation, in stark black-and-white. This image also provocatively alludes to food, gender, and racial mythologies, subjects that Walker often foregrounds in her work.
Linocut on paper
46 1/4 x 60 1/2 in. (117.5 x 153.7 cm) (show scale)
Signed upper right: "KW '97"
Inscribed upper left in graphite: "Keys to the Coop"
This item is not on view
Robert A. Levinson Fund
© Kara Walker
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Kara Walker (American, born 1969). Keys to the Coop, 1997. Linocut on paper, 46 1/4 x 60 1/2 in. (117.5 x 153.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Robert A. Levinson Fund, 1997.152. © Kara Walker
overall, 1997.152_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
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