Wura-Natasha Ogunji
Photo: Rino Pizzi
Photo: Rino Pizzi

b. 1970, St. Louis

Wura-Natasha Ogunji received a BA in anthropology from Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, in 1992 and a MFA in photography from San Jose State University, CA, in 1998. She currently lives and works in Austin, TX.

A performance and visual artist who works in a variety of mediums, Ogunji is perhaps best know for her videos, in which she uses her own body to explore movement and mark-making. In a recent work considering ideas of crossings and journeys, the artist bounds toward the viewer in a series of distinctive jerking motions reminiscent of stop-motion animation, her feet never seeming to touch the ground. This editing style is a reoccurring motif in her work, as are the stripes of a Nigerian Ife artifact painted on her face. Her works on paper present simplified, linear representations of human figures in movement executed in thread on spare, colored backgrounds.

Ogunji has received a number of awards, including a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2012) and grants from the Idea Fund, Houston (2010), and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation (2005). She has completed residencies at Can Serrat, Spain (2007), and Altos de Chavon, Dominican Republic (2005), and her work has been in exhibitions such as N├ęgritude, Exit Art, New York (2009); Screwed Anthologies, labotanica, Houston (2009); and New American Talent: The Twenty-First Exhibition, Arthouse at the Jones Center, Austin (2006). Her performance works include Will I still carry water when I am a dead woman?, Lagos (2011); and one hundred black women, one hundred actions, Fusebox Festival, Austin (2010).