Chakaia Booker’s extravagant artistic inspiration initially came from witnessing criminal car fires in the East Village in New York City circa 1980 and looking at the dramatic effect the fire had on the rubber of the tires. Fascinated, she started salvaging ugly beat-up tires and turning them into amazing abstract sculptures. Today, she is considered one of America’s most important contemporary sculptors.
Her installations are all created around the themes of black culture, identity, gender and environmentalism.
â€œOverall the tires characterize, symbolize, and or signify a toughness, linked to the will of the African for continued survival,â€ she explains.