The Grand Tour

On a quiet, industrial block of Brooklyn, just steps away from the Navy yard, Mickalene Thomas’ unassuming studio is sandwiched between similarly unmarked facades. Granted a visit to the workspace of the rhinestone proprietress herself, we stepped through her door from the banal street into a colorful and industrious studio, potent with the smell of oil paint. Thomas welcomed us to her studio as though guests into her home. As she led us through the giant space, she pointed out objects—her “library” of rhinestones, her assortment of brushes, and her infinite boxes of textiles, among others—and with every thoughtful explanation, we gained a better sense of her processes, and of Thomas herself.

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