""My art is a reflection of my soul, an offering to the world, and a reminder that transformation and healing are always possible. Through my sculptures, I seek to reclaim the objects and words that have been used to oppress and dehumanize people of color for generations. I want my art to empower and uplift those who have been marginalized, and to inspire hope and resilience in the face of adversity. My hope is that my art can be a catalyst for change, a spark that ignites a movement towards a more just and equitable world." - Vanessa German
Vanessa German is a multi-talented artist, known for her work as a poet, performer, photographer, and sculptor. She is based in Pittsburgh and is deeply committed to exploring the power of transformation and healing through her art. German scours her neighborhood for discarded objects and surrenders herself to those that call out to her. Her intricate mixed-media sculptures incorporate doll parts, antique tins, cowrie shells, household objects, and African beads, creating serene and surreal figures that draw on religious icons, Congolese minkisi sculpture, and folk art traditions.
German's sculptures are deeply rooted in her African American heritage and seek to reclaim objects and words that symbolize oppression for generations. Her work is also deeply personal, reflecting her own experiences of social discrimination and stigma. She uses her art as both an emotional outlet and a form of medicine for modern anxieties, creating cathartic, colorful, and vibrant pieces that empower both herself and her community.
German's work has earned her a place in some of the most prestigious contemporary art museums in America, including the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. She is a true icon of intersectional feminism, using her art to create a dialogue around social and racial issues that are more relevant today than ever before. German was awarded the Heinz Award for the Arts in 2022 for her contribution to the humanities, solidifying her place as one of America's most important contemporary artists.