Mickalene Thomas


Mickalene Thomas (b.1971) is a renowned artist inspired by the intersection of popular culture and art history, lensed through a contemporary African-American, female gaze. She studied at the Pratt Institute, and earned her MFA from Yale.

As an openly gay, African-American woman, sexuality and race are essential elements of her practice. 

Thomas' primary subject is portraits of black women. Her works are instantly recognizable featuring bold textures, patterns and colors.

This work, a black and white photo, is somewhat of an anomaly in Thomas' oeuvre. However "Marie" is surrounded by Thomas' signature background of fabrics in varying textures and patterns.

Elements of Blaxploitation, Pop Art, Cubism, Dadaism, and even Renaissance art appear in her work. Her subjects, often friends and lovers, lounge, or pose, as women in art history have done for centuries. Only this time, it's black women being celebrated for their culture, aesthetic and beauty. Their direct gaze challenges the white male gaze and defies conventions of subservience and objectification - that have historically dominated visual culture. By rebelling against traditional tropes or narratives, Thomas' portraits have forged a new space in the art world. 

Mickalene Thomas has received numerous awards and worked in many creative channels besides visual art, including an HBO documentary and album artwork for Solange Knowles. She has created portraits of many famous African-American women including Oprah Winfrey, Condoleezza Rice, Whitney Huston, and Michelle Obama.

Thomas' works can be found in numerous museum's permanent collections; including the Museum of Modern Art (NY), Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, the Guggenheim (NY), the Smithsonian American Art Museum (NY), and the Whitney (NY) among many others.

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Additional images available by request.

"Portrait of Marie Sitting in Black and White"

USA, 2012

Photogravure, with Chine-collé on wove paper, with full margins.

Published by: Momenta Art, NYC 

Signed, dated and numbered by the artist

From an edition of 20

20.75"H 16.75"W (image)

27"H 22.5"W (sheet)

Framed with museum glass

Very good condition

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Occasionally we will recommend that an artwork be removed from its frame for shipping. Larger framed works are typically framed with plexiglass. We export over 80% of what we sell, so we are comfortable shipping anywhere. 

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