Not many artists easily use rubber in their work (except for rubber cement, in most cases). Chakaia Booker, however, has gained fame for her incredible pieces sculpted out of her go-to medium: car tires.
On the rim of a wheel, tires don’t appeal much to the eye, if at all—as long as all four are inflated, I’m good to go. Otherwise, they’re probably the last thing on my mind, least of all for an art project. For Booker, the opposite rings true. Her imposing yet magnificent pieces exhibit a fluidity that seems almost alien, pushing at the boundaries of the real in an artistically meaningful manner—who would have thought of morphing something as crudely made as a tire into a structure that mimics the natural contours of a human spine? By using a material so out of left field in such a manner, Booker makes a name for herself not only as an artist, but as an innovator.
Phobic Digression-Chakaia Booker
Booker’s work is in collections ranging from the Atlanta Botanical Gardens to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to NASA. GMOA is lucky enough to have a special exhibition of her pieces in the Jane and Harry Willson Sculpture Garden, where they will remain until next April.