About // CV


Rebecca Marimutu is a photographer from New York City, based in Baltimore working to reimagine the practice of portraiture. She works to expand discussions around the photograph's materiality by concealing, obscuring, and protecting that which lies within the frame. Her artistic practice explores self, identity, and material tactility through photography, collage, paper sculpture, and audio-visual abstraction.

Her work has been shown at Waller Gallery, Catalyst Contemporary, Black Artists Research Space, and Eubie Blake Cultural Center in Baltimore, MD. In 2020, she received her MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Photographic and Electronic Media, with a concentration in Critical Studies.

She is currently an adjunct photography professor at MICA and Towson University.


Artist Statement


My work explores the image of myself for a landscape for abstraction and deconstruction - in a physical and conceptual sense.  My work is centered around using nontraditional photography and portraiture to expand the confindes of the photographic image. I see abstraction as a means of protest, insofar as it breaks through ways we are often allowed to see ourselves in contemporary art.

As Black artists, particularly Black women artists we are often limited to or only awarded for work based in figuration. The forms through which we are allowed to view images of ourselves are often determined by voices, opinions, and structures that do not look like us. My intention is to use abstraction to both deconstruct and obscure the image of the self—the image and the confindes of the representational nature of the photograph.



 
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Portraits, Contact (2022)(WIP)



Portrait(s), Adhered. 2021


At the start of 2021, I started my series “Portraits, Adhered.” Using the nontraditional photographic methods of shooting digitally and directly mounting the self-portraits onto a wooden board via wheat-paste, PVA glue, clear acrylic gesso and/or staples. Through these methods, I am looking to disrupt the material hierarchies in contemporary image and media consumption. During the period of self-isolation, I’ve been making this ongoing series as a way of self-examination through treating the image of myself as a landscape for abstraction and deconstruction. Working in this style has led me to expand on the sculptural potentials in photography. I am interested in abstraction as a means of protest, insofar as it breaks through ways we are often allowed to see ourselves in Contemporary art. The forms through which we are allowed to view images of our Black selves are often determined by voices, opinions, and structures that do not look like us. My intention is to use abstraction to both deconstruct and obscure the image of the self—the image of us and the pressure to be represented. 



Portrait (s), an  Exploitation and Repair
2020 - Thesis


Photography provides the viewer space to look on-to another experience through the safety of their own -- standing outside the frame, and other those who are within. Marimutu works to subvert and orient this space of contemplation that photography provides, by blocking the gaze of the viewer onto the viewed. Her work conceals and protects that which lies under the paper, only showing the borders and edges of what was -- in the process, guiding the viewer to question their role in this obfuscation.Portrait(s), an exploration of exploitation and repair, consists of large photosensitive Kraft Paper sculptures that are intentionally composed to absorb the surrounding environment onto themselves as they weaken and decay.

By creating and repairing these portraits through accessible, durable, and charged materials, Marimutu works to address and remove the material and political hierarchy of picture-making, and imposes her own.Untitled is an early response to the pandemic. Working through old work, Corners (2016) and new work Exploitation and Repair (2020), Marimutu was continuing her exploration about the spaces she inhabited — institutional and educational spaces from her archive — along with the current discussion about her place within them.New Spaces (2020) is composed of works in progress that explores the intersection of space and expansion, the distortion of the lens, and the manipulation of the digital and racial landscape that we are a part of.

Through these, Marimutu works on repairing and attaching these spaces and imagining them together.In the Home (2020) addresses how the current pandemic has centered around discussions about the work of being anti racist in domestic and family-focused spaces. Discussions about race have become more internal, as our social access to people continues to shrink. The past year has been a time for introspection on how to personally confront white supremacy, as well as an extended moment to educate ourselves about how we got here. As an artist who has long been working on the tokenization of BIPOC in arts institutions, Marimutu also hopes to extend that critique to the space of our home.



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Work From Home 2020



2. September






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3. October, 2020



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4. November, 2020





Scuptures, Sheet Plastic - Projection
2019



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