What About Mikalene Thomas Landscape Paintings?


Brooklyn artist Mickalene Thomas is best known for her elaborate, collage-inspired paintings, embellished with rhinestones, enamel, and colorful acrylics. Her depictions of African American women explore a spectrum of black female beauty and sexual identity while constructing images of femininity and power.

Meet The Artist: Mickalene Thomas on “Portrait of Mnonja”

Meet the Artists | Mickalene Thomas

Meet the Artist: Mickalene Thomas on Her Materials and Artistic Influences

Frequently Asked Questions

What does mickalene Thomas try to show in her artwork?

Blurring the distinction between object and subject, concrete and abstract, real and imaginary, Thomas constructs complex portraits, landscapes, and interiors in order to examine how identity, gender, and sense-of-self are informed by the ways women (and “feminine” spaces) are represented in art and popular culture.

Why does mickalene Thomas use rhinestones in her paintings?

Rhinestones—the artist's signature material and a symbol of femininity—serve as an added layer of meaning and a metaphor of artifice. Thomas uses rhinestones to shade and accentuate specific elements of each painting, while subtly confronting our assumptions about what is feminine and what defines women.

What is mickalene Thomas known for?

Mickalene Thomas was born in New Jersey and now works in Brooklyn, New York. She is a distinguished multidisciplinary visual artist best known for combining art historical, political, and pop-cultural references to create striking figurative and nonfigurative paintings.

Who was mickalene Thomas inspired by?

Inspired by art history as well as popular culture, Thomas's works allude to sources ranging from 19th-century French painting to 1970s Blaxploitation films. Her acknowledged influences include Edouard Manet and Henri Matisse, as well as Romare Bearden and Pam Grier.

What kind of art does Mickalene Thomas do?

In her texturally rich paintings, Mickalene Thomas examines the popular characterization of black female identity, celebrity, and sexuality. Crafted with acrylic, rhinestones, and enamel, the vibrant interwoven patterns adorning Thomas’ work are …

Who is Mickalene from Smithsonian American Art Museum?

MICKALENE THOMAS: Hi, I'm Mickalene Thomas. I'm here at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. I guess my appeal to craft materials is also another historical reference to women making art. When I was in undergrad, I couldn't always afford oil paint.

When did Mickalene Thomas create portrait of mnonja?

Artist Mickalene Thomas created “Portrait of Mnonja” in 2010. Now, this piece made me stop in my tracks. The clothes, the jewelry, the shoes – it literally sparkles. “Portrait of Mnonja” has me thinking about style, the way we present ourselves, and what it says about us.

Who is Mickalene Thomas origin of the universe organized by?

Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe was organized by the Santa Monica Museum of Art and Lisa Melandri, former Deputy Director for Exhibitions and Programs. The Brooklyn presentation is organized by Eugenie Tsai, John and Barbara Vogelstein Curator of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum.

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