“My kid could do that” is the world’s most clichéd dismissal of Modern art.
New Jersey-born, Brooklyn-based artist Mickalene Thomas is best known for her richly textured, rhinestone-encrusted paintings of African-American women and bright, collaged interiors. Lesser known is her photography, which she’s long considered a crucial component of her art practice.
SAN FRANCISCO — It’s summer in the USA, and that means it’s group-show season on both coasts.
MIAMI BEACH — One of the things I find hardest about art fairs — particularly those held in convention centers and large exhibition halls — is their aesthetic. Bright, clinical white everywhere, with temporary walls set at perfect right angles and the gridwork of pipes and rafters floating high above. It’s hygienic enough to make you swoon over even the most banal abstraction.
Holding a sign that reads “I am your worst fear, I am your best fantasy,” a photograph of a proud and defiant woman at a gay liberation march in the 1970s opens Phaidon’s newly published Art & Queer Culture, illustrating the dual visions of queer identity by the field of art history.
Mickalene Thomas’s current exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum is a visual marvel. Bright colors, shimmering rhinestones, chaotic patterns, and bold-faced women abound. And not separately, mind you — Thomas has a proclivity for mashing up up into exquisitely rendered wholes that take the cut-and-paste aesthetic to a nearly explosive endpoint. If there’s one thing her work doesn’t lack, it’s energy.
MTV is trying to rekindle the “visual playground” of the 1980s and they hope the new art commercials by Rashaad Newsome, Mickalene Thomas, Tala Madani, Jani Ruscica and Mads Lynnerup will help them do it.
The Museum of Art and Design, New York’s The Global Africa Project makes an audacious claim: to present the art, design, architecture, and craft of the contemporary African diaspora. Given that Africa is the world’s second largest continent, with a population of over one billion dispersed among 54 distinct countries—never mind the millions of people of African descent living elsewhere—any attempt to survey its production and influence seems impossible. However, the curators — Dr. Lowery Stokes Sims, formerly director of the Studio Museum in Harlem and currently the Charles Bronfman Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design, and Dr. Leslie King-Hammond, founding director of the Center for Race and Culture at Maryland Institute College of Art — have embraced the unwieldiness of the notion of “Africa,” creating an exhibition that intentionally raises more questions than it answers.