14. An Artistic Genius

Carrie Mae Weems, 2013 MacArthur Fellow

Noted photographer and artist Carrie Mae Weems is a 2013 MacArthur Fellow. (MacArthur Foundation)

Carrie Mae Weems describes herself as “a complex woman” who works on different levels to tell stories, using photographs, text, fabric, audio, digital images, video and installations. Humanity shines through her work, she says, which goes beyond race and gender and politics whether it’s “The Louisiana Project” (2003), “Roaming” (2006) or “The Obama Project” (2012). Her art attempts “to beautify the mess of a messy world, to heal the sick and feed the helpless; to shout bravely from the rooftops and storm-barricaded doors and voice the specifics of our historic moment.” For her body of art over the last quarter-century, the 60-year-old artist received a 2013 McArthur “Genius” Grant. Her artwork has been exhibited at international venues ranging from the Guggenheim Museum to the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum.