Skip to main content

Mickalene Thomas (artist)

Nationality
American
Birth/Death
1971–

About

Brooklyn-based artist Mickalene Thomas is known for her elaborate, tactile paintings adorned with rhinestones, enamel and colorful acrylics. Her glamorized representations of African American women highlight stereotypes and ideals of celebrity and identity while simultaneously romanticizing ideas of femininity and power. Thomas’s work is reminiscent of 1970s-era Blaxploitation which is the “exploitation of blacks by producers of black-oriented films” according to Merriam Webster Dictionary as well as current hip-hop culture. The women in Thomas’ paintings ooze confidence and are often arranged in provocative poses. Thomas frequently references traditional art historical mores in her paintings and photography- most often, she recasts the odalisque and other female nudes as contemporary African American women.

Mickalene Thomas earned her B.F.A. in painting at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn in 2000 and a M.F.A. degree from Yale University School of Art, in 2002. She has been the recipient of numerous awards. In 2003, she participated in a residency at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, and in 2010, she was awarded a prestigious residency at the Versailles Munn Artists Program at Giverny, France.

For more information, visit www.mickalenethomas.com. 

From Wikipedia

source content
Mickalene Thomas (born January 28, 1971) is a contemporary African-American artist best known for her complex paintings made of rhinestones, acrylic, and enamel. Her work draws from Western art history, pop art and visual culture to examine ideas around femininity, beauty, race, sexuality, and gender.