Mickalene Thomas, ‘Elle.  Elle, 2013, Installation view.  Palais de Tokyo, Paris.  ART CAPSUL Curated by Stacy Engman exhibition, July 2013.  Haute Couture.’, ART CAPSUL
Mickalene Thomas, ‘Elle.  Elle, 2013, Installation view.  Palais de Tokyo, Paris.  ART CAPSUL Curated by Stacy Engman exhibition, July 2013.  Haute Couture.’, ART CAPSUL
Mickalene Thomas, ‘Elle.  Elle, 2013, Installation view.  Palais de Tokyo, Paris.  ART CAPSUL Curated by Stacy Engman exhibition, July 2013.  Haute Couture.’, ART CAPSUL
Mickalene Thomas, ‘Elle.  Elle, 2013, Installation view.  Palais de Tokyo, Paris.  ART CAPSUL Curated by Stacy Engman exhibition, July 2013.  Haute Couture.’, ART CAPSUL
Mickalene Thomas, ‘Elle.  Elle, 2013, Installation view.  Palais de Tokyo, Paris.  ART CAPSUL Curated by Stacy Engman exhibition, July 2013.  Haute Couture.’, ART CAPSUL

For ART CAPSUL Thomas created her first textile pattern in a digital vector image file, which was inspired by the fabric of a dress her grandmother gave her as a child. Her pattern has been printed to duchess satin and spot-encrusted with Swarovski rhinestones. The gown was hand sculpted and manipulated by Thomas, forming the volumous structure of the gown, as well as adding subtle paint strokes to the underskirt.

Mickalene Thomas represents a unique voice for her generation, as her work explores notions of beauty, femininity and identity within the art historical cannon and contemporary culture. Her work incorporates a range of mediums including acrylic and oil paint, highly graphic textiles, as well as her signature use of rhinestones.

About Mickalene Thomas

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 inspired by her childhood in the 1970s. Thomas chooses to depict powerful women such as her mother, celebrities, and iconic art-historical figures. In a 2010 photograph entitled Le déjeuner sur l’herbe: Le Trois Femme Noires (2010), Thomas re-stages Édouard Manet’s famous image, substituting his painted figures for provocatively dressed black women. Such works demonstrate Thomas’s sustained interest in visualizing the black woman’s relationship both to art history and to contemporary culture at large.

American, b. 1971, Camden, New Jersey, based in New York, New York