30 Americans: Carrie Mae Weems

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: ExhibitionsLeave a Comment

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3 Days to 30 Americans

(born 1953)

For more than twenty-five years, Carrie Mae Weems has explored themes of race, gender relations, and family history in her installations. In 2010, the award-winning visual artist teamed up with the critically acclaimed jazz pianist Geri Allen on Flying toward the Sound, for which she produced images and videos to accompany Allen’s amazing piano excursions.

Learn more about the 30 Americans exhibition at http://arkansasartscenter.org/30-Americans.

Learn more about Weems at http://carriemaeweems.net/.


Video

photo: Carrie Mae Weems

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30 Americans: Kara Walker

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: ExhibitionsLeave a Comment

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4 Days to 30 Americans

(born 1969)

With a cursory glance, Kara Walker’s black cut-paper silhouettes look like benign nineteenth-century antebellum scenes or Walt Disney cartoon characters from such classic pieces as the 1946 film Song of the South. A closer, probing investigation reveals the underlying terror surrounding race, gender, and sexual identity politics in America.

Learn more about the 30 Americans exhibition at http://arkansasartscenter.org/30-Americans.

Learn more about Walker at http://www.art21.org/artists/kara-walker.


Kara Walker

photo: Sari Goodfriend, http://creativetime.org

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30 Americans: Mickalene Thomas

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: ExhibitionsLeave a Comment

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5 Days to 30 Americans

(born 1971)

While exploring and challenging long-held notions of feminine beauty, Mickalene Thomas uses rhinestones, acrylic, and enamel to create stupendously textured paintings. Sometimes she pairs these paintings with video installations that juxtapose Blaxploitation film imagery with that of classic Western European portraiture.

Thomas’s influences range from historical figures such as Henri Matisse and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres to contemporary artists such as Carrie Mae Weems and Kara Walker. She also looks to 1970s Blaxploitation films and music legends such as Eartha Kitt, Bessie Smith, Sharon Jones, and Billie Holiday

Learn more about the 30 Americans exhibition at http://arkansasartscenter.org/30-Americans.

To view Thomas’s work visit http://mickalenethomas.com/.


Mickalene Thomas

photo: Greg Cook, www.wbur.org

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30 Americans: Hank Willis Thomas

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6 Days to 30 Americans

(born 1976)

The world of advertising—and all the sociopolitical implications it has regarding race, gender, and class—provide the launching pad for Hank Willis Thomas’s bold photographs. Sometimes his works include autobiographical information, as in Priceless #1, which riffs off the famous MasterCard slogan (“There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.”), yet depicts the funeral of his murdered cousin, Songha Willis.

Learn more about the 30 Americans exhibition at http://arkansasartscenter.org/30-Americans.

To view Thomas’s work visit http://www.hankwillisthomas.com/.


Hank Willis Thomas

photo: Hank Willis Thomas

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30 Americans: Henry Taylor

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7 Days to 30 Americans

(born 1958)

Various characters from Henry Taylor’s Los Angeles surroundings often inhabit his vivid paintings. Taylor has incorporated the likenesses of family members, as well as neighborhood friends, in his works. While attending the California Institute of the Arts, Taylor worked as a psychiatric technician at the Camarillo State Hospital. There he sketched various patients.

Learn more about the 30 Americans exhibition at http://arkansasartscenter.org/30-Americans.


Henry Taylor

photo: Johnny Misheff, New York Times Style Magazine

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30 Americans: Jeff Sonhouse

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8 Days to 30 Americans

(born 1968)

Jeff Sonhouse concentrates on themes of black masculinity in his striking paintings that often find his subjects donning menacing, multipatterned masks and vivid, dandy-like suits. At times focusing on iconic or controversial figures, Sonhouse has created portraits of Colin Powell, Michael Jackson, and Diddy. In 2008 Sonhouse broke with his practice of depicting only men with his exhibition Pawnography, which included a portrait of former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Learn more about the 30 Americans exhibition at http://arkansasartscenter.org/30-Americans.


Jeff Sonhouse

photo: http://bfanyc.com

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30 Americans: Shinique Smith

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: ExhibitionsLeave a Comment

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9 Days to 30 Americans

(born 1971)

Many found objects, from old fabrics and discarded picture frames to sneakers and T-shirts make up much of Baltimore-native Shinique Smith’s intriguing art. She sometimes incorporates street graffiti and Japanese calligraphy in works that both comment on public consumption and serve as personal reflections. Such is the case with her captivating 2007 sculpture a bull, a rose, a tempest, which she has described as part of a “big requiem.” The work incorporates memorabilia of deceased artists, including a T-shirt featuring the late rapper Tupac Shakur, who entered the Baltimore School of the Arts the year she left.

Learn more about the 30 Americans exhibition at http://arkansasartscenter.org/30-Americans.

To view Smith’s work visit http://shiniquesmith.com/.


Video

photo: Cohan Gallery

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