The dazzling mixed-media works of Mickalene Thomas (featured on Fantom #01) combine rhinestones with acrylic and oil paints to create compositions that often reference iconic works of art from XIX century. In her reimagined renderings, the artist replaces the European subjects with powerful and glamorous African American women, inviting questions about conventional beauty, racial identity, and the traditional art historical narrative.
Thomas first became interested in creating a dialogue with progressive nineteenth-century artists such as Claude Monet, Édouard Manet, and Gustave Courbet after completing an artist’s residency at Monet’s home in Giverny, France, in 2011. During her time in Giverny, Thomas was influenced by the realization that Monet had carefully appointed his residence and gardens to create the ideal creative retreat. The collage effect apparent in Thomas’s Giverny landscapes and interiors mirrors Monet’s desire to piece together spaces as individual sites of inspiration.
The exhibition “Mickalene Thomas at Giverny” at the Jepson Center (Savannah, Georgia) presents a selection of collages and mixed-media paintings inspired by Thomas’s time in Giverny that throws the continued relevance and influence of the nineteenth-century father of Impressionism into new relief.
Mickalene Thomas at Giverny Until January 10, 2016 The Jepson Center 207 W. York St. - Savannah, GA 31401 www.telfair.org