African Americans in Art…. Mickalene Thomas

Mickalene Thomas is a New York based artist who has become known for her modern paintings which contain rhinestones and acrylic paint. Ms. Thomas grew up in the 70s in New Jersey and her paintings might remind you of some 70s culture of Good Times. I love the use of patterns in the background and the clothes that her characters where.

A mixed media specialist she now is producing some art on LCD screens as well. Many of her ladies have afro styled hair, hoop earrings, and retro fabrics. One corner of her studio is a 1970s themed set up. Ms. Thomas says she was influenced by the strong black voluptious women she say growing up in Jet and Ebony magazine.

She ended up studying art at Yale and for awhile did some text paintings in the manner of her mentor at that time Mel Bochner, who was known for making text paintings on Velvet. Shortly after that she experimented using rhinestones in her work and then she fell in love with the effect. Some of the rhinestones are crystals which gives the patterns and floral elements in her work an even bolder look.

Ms. Thomas really inspires me to learn to paint better with acrylics and once more to paint what you love.
Her characters are wrestling, looking sexing, having sex, anything you can imagine!

Hope this inspires you to try something new in your work!

regards,

Dan

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