Mickalene Thomas - AFRICA Theme Sale New York Saturday, May 15, 2010 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist; Private collection, Los Angeles

  • Exhibited

    Los Angeles, Steve Turner Contemporary, NeoVernacular: Pop, Portraiture, Pulp and Porn, 2005

  • Catalogue Essay

    “Over the years, I have painted and photographed a lot of different kinds of women—from my mother, to women auditioned from Craigslist, to lovers, to transsexual women, to celebrities from Oprah to Condoleezza. But what they have all had in common is a sort of prowess, an incredible degree of self-awareness and self-possession that never ceases to fascinate me. Sometimes this manifests as a very sexy painting or photograph, but I am always taking my cues from the models and from the conventions of art historical figurative painting. My work is rooted in the tradition of portrait painting. This is essential to me because I want to insert these women into the history of art and to thereby shift the existing canon that has historically under- or misrepresented black women” (Thomas quoted in conversation with Leah Oates, in NY Arts, Fall 2009, reproduced at http://www.nyartsmagazine.com).

  • Artist Biography

    Mickalene Thomas

    American • 1971

    Glamour and feminism need not be foes, as evinced by the wonderful work of Mickalene Thomas. The artist examines these qualities through the lens of the African-American female experience. Whether with her rhinestone-inflected, '70s-glam-inspired portraits of black beauty and power or her photographic installations of her mother's living room, Thomas personalizes while aestheticizing a visual conversation about race. By tackling classical art historical themes, she writes African-American aesthetics into traditional conventions.

    Blockbuster retrospectives at the Brooklyn Museum and ICA Boston thrust Thomas into contemporary art's mainstage. Her platform extends her creative pursuits into fashion, interiors and DJ'ing. Thomas' market has also grown at a steady pace with auction prices increasing each year.

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Rhinestones and acrylic on wood panel.
36 x 24 1/8 in. (91.4 x 61.3 cm).
Signed, titled and dated "Mickalene Thomas 'MS. PU-SE-KAT #1' 2003" on the reverse.

$15,000 - 20,000 

Sold for $26,250

AFRICA Theme Sale

15 May 2010
New York