*NSFW* — UPCOMING: Mickalene Thomas at Brooklyn Museum — September 28

T he first major solo exhibition of this Brooklyn-based artist finally comes to Brooklyn! m4s0n501

Back in April, you guys may recall that we gave you a heads up on celebrated multimedia artist Mickalene Thomas and her first major solo exhibit that was just opening in LA. Happy to report that that show is coming to the Brooklyn Museum! Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe runs from September 28, 2012 through January 20, 2013.  The show highlights this Brooklyn-based artist’s work from the last two years–some ninety-three (93!) pieces–including new landscapes and interiors.

From the press release:

Thomas’s work grows from a long study of art history, drawing inspiration from the classical genres of portraiture, landscape, and still life, as well as from contemporary popular culture, the imagery of which she uses to explore issues of identity and race, as well as beauty and the self. Her work, which synthesizes a wide range of artistic and cultural references into a unique vision of the world, presents a complex perspective on what it means to be a woman and expands common definitions of beauty.

Thomas’s oeuvre investigates the body in relationship to the landscape and interior spaces through a pictorial style that reimagines past masterworks and transforms them in a modern-day idiom for the present. Her signature portraits of vibrant black women in photographs, paintings, and collages explore artifice, masking, and costuming. Her interiors draw on a range of historical periods, from the nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century to the present.

Working with models drawn from her circle of friends and relatives, she outfits them with carefully selected wigs, costumes, and makeup, then poses them in looks inspired by black popular culture from the 1970s to the present. Although her referents are often the anonymous models depicted in works by such artists as Manet and Matisse, Thomas frequently identifies her own subjects in her titles.

Some examples of Thomas’s work:

 

Additional links:

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Rob Fields is the founder and publisher of Bold As Love Magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @robfields.