We Was Mostly ‘Bout Survival by Betye Saar

We Was Mostly ‘Bout Survival by Betye Saar

We Was Mostly ‘Bout Survival
Identity Art and Identity Politics
Mixed media assemblage on vintage ironing board
The Eileen Harris Norton Collection

Saar repurposed a vintage ironing board on which she painted a bird’s eye view of the slave ship, Brookes. The ship is crowded with bodies and other items have been attached to the board such as an old bar of soap, and a washboard printed with a photograph of a black woman doing laundry. Symbolic of black female domestic labour combined with the symbols of diasporic trauma portrays a powerful story about African American history

Betye Saar

Betye Saar
Feminist Art, Identity Art and Identity Politics, Assemblage, Collage
Born: 30 July 1926, California, USA
Nationality: African-American

Saar is an artist best known for her work in the medium of assemblage. She is also a visual storyteller and printmaker. In the 1970s Saar was a part of the Black Arts Movement which engaged with myths and stereotypes about race and gender. Her work is highly political and challenges the negative ideas about African Americans