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Mickalene Thomas Art

American, b. 1971

Although she’s best known for her vibrant and textural collage portraits of Black women, contemporary artist Mickalene Thomas is in fact a master of many mediums, including photography, video, sculpture and printmaking. Born in Camden, New Jersey, and raised by her mother, a fashion model, Thomas enrolled in after-school art classes at the Newark Museum of Art in Newark, New Jersey, and the Henry Street Settlement in New York City as a child. Later, she would earn fine art degrees from Pratt Institute and Yale University.

Inspired in part by her strong, matriarchal upbringing and her own identity as a queer Black woman, Thomas focuses on female power, beauty and sexuality in her works. She cites a 1990s-era exhibition of Carrie Mae Weems’s work at the Portland Art Museum in Oregon as being critically important to her becoming an artist. In her work, Thomas commonly pulls from the art history canon, riffing frequently on the styles and compositions of early modernists such as Gustave Courbet, Édouard Manet and Henri Matisse, as well as more contemporary artists like Romare Bearden and David Hockney. She recontextualizes their paintings by restaging them with Black subjects, using signature materials like rhinestones, enamel and acrylic paint to profound effect. Relatedly, for a collaboration with Dior, Thomas reinvented the house’s iconic Bar jacket and Lady Dior handbag to become, essentially, wearable Claude Monet landscapes.

Thomas also investigates the idea of Black celebrity in her work, painting portraits of such Black icons as Whitney Houston, Oprah Winfrey and Eartha Kitt. In 2008, Thomas painted the first individual silkscreen portrait of then–First Lady Michelle Obama, which was exhibited for the first time in the National Portrait Gallery’s “Americans Now” show.

Thomas’s work can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, among others. She has received such accolades as the Timerhi Award for Leadership in the Arts in 2010, the Brooklyn Museum Asher B. Durand Award in 2012 and the Anonymous Was a Woman Award in 2013. In 2015, Thomas was named a USA Francie Bishop Good & David Horvitz Fellow.

Find Mickalene Thomas’s art on 1stDibs today.

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Portrait of a Lovely Six Foota #1
By Mickalene Thomas
Located in Fort Lauderdale, FL
Mickalene Thomas Portrait of a Lovely Six Foota #1, 2009, (24/50 + 5 AP) Archival Pigment Print 14 x 11 in Published by The Lapis Press, to benefit the Institute of Contemporary Art...
Category

2010s Contemporary Mickalene Thomas Art

Materials

Archival Pigment

Racquel Come to Me Two
By Mickalene Thomas
Located in Calabasas, CA
Artist: Mickalene Thomas Title: Racquel Come to Me Two Year: 2018 Medium: Digital print on Epson hot press natural 330g/m2 paper Sheet: 16 1/2 × 13 in (41.9 × 33 cm) Edition: 50; sig...
Category

2010s Contemporary Mickalene Thomas Art

Materials

Digital

MICKALENE THOMAS "UNTITLED" (BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL) USA, 2017
By Mickalene Thomas
Located in Pembroke Pines, FL
Mickalene Thomas "Untitled" (Black is Beautiful) USA, 2017 Inkjet print Signed and numbered by the artist From an edition of 100 14"H 11"W (work) Framed Approx: 22"H x 17"W Excellent...
Category

2010s Contemporary Mickalene Thomas Art

Materials

Inkjet

Jet Blue in Landscape
By Mickalene Thomas
Located in New Canaan, CT
This edition was created specifically for The Glass House Art Editions Program. Every artwork purchased contributes to preservation projects on site and allows us to provide engaging...
Category

2010s Mickalene Thomas Art

Materials

Enamel, Steel

Lena Blanket or Throw by Mickalene Thomas
By Mickalene Thomas
Located in Jersey City, NJ
This wool and cotton blanket by celebrated artist Mickalene Thomas fits a queen or king, or is fantastic has a wall hanging. Produced in collaboration with Pendleton Mills, this lim...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Mickalene Thomas Art

Materials

Suede, Wool, Cotton

Portrait de Priscilla Le Petit Chien
By Mickalene Thomas
Located in New York, NY
Mickalene Thomas Portrait de Priscilla Le Petit Chien, 2012 Pigment print on 100% cotton rag paper Edition 148/150 Frame included with official COA affixed to the back Hand numbered from the edition of only 150 with plate signed official Certificate of Authenticity on the verso of the frame. This exquisite print, published in 2012, is based on an original collage made by the artist of her long-haired miniature dachshund (a gift from fellow artist Kehinde Wiley), Priscilla. Highly acclaimed contemporary art star Mickalene Thomas created this collage specifically for children- though adults will appreciate it as well - as will pet lovers! Portrait de Priscilla Petit Chien features Priscilla, Thomas' own dog who frequently attends the artist's photoshoots. This limited edition archival pigment print is printed on cotton rag paper and accompanied by a plate (facsimile) signed and uniquely hand numbered certificate of authenticity. It is matted and comes in a 1"-deep wooden frame with Plexiglas®. Wired for hanging. Edition of 150. This professionally framed limited edition pigment print on 100% cotton rag paper is based on an original collage made by the artist of her long-haired miniature dachshund (a gift from fellow artist Kehinde Wiley), Priscilla. The print is matted and comes in a white wooden frame (16" x 19" x 1") with Plexiglas, wired for hanging. Dimensions: 11" x 14" sheet, 9-1/4" x 12" image. Mickalene Thomas Biography: Mickalene Thomas (b. 1971, Camden, NJ; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) makes paintings, collages, photography, video, and installations that draw on art history and popular culture to create a contemporary vision of female sexuality, beauty, and power. 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 are represented in art and popular culture. 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. Thomas has drawn inspiration from multiple artistic periods and cultural influences throughout Western art history, particularly the early modernists such as Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Edouard Manet, and Romare Bearden. She models her figures on the classic poses and abstract settings popularized by these modern masters as a way to reclaim agency for women who have been presented as objects to be desired or subjugated. Though Thomas draws from a number of time periods and genres, her use of pattern and domestic spaces often references various periods throughout the 1960s to the 1980s. This was a time of immense social and political conflict, change, and transformation—the civil rights movement, the black is beautiful movement, and the second wave of feminism—during which many women, particularly African-Americans, rejected and redefined traditional standards of beauty. Thomas received a BFA from the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, in 2000 and an MFA from Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT, in 2002. Solo exhibitions of her work have been organized at The Dayton Art Institute, OH (forthcoming, 2018); Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA (forthcoming, 2018); Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, CA (forthcoming, 2018); Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA (forthcoming, 2017); Newcomb Art Museum, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA (2017); Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, GA (2017); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2016); Aspen Art Museum, CO (2016); Aperture Foundation, New York (2016); George Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY (2014); Brooklyn Museum, New York (2012-13); Santa Monica Museum of Art (2012); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2012); Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2011); and La Conservera Centro de Arte Contemporaneo, Ceuti, Spain (2009). Select group exhibitions featuring her work include Third Space / Shifting Conversations About Contemporary Art, Birmingham Museum of Art, AL (2017); Constructing Identity: Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African-American Art, Portland Art Museum, ME (2017); The Color Line: African American Artists and the Civil Rights in the United States, Musée du quai Branly, Paris (2016); SHE: International Women Artists, Long Museum, Shanghai (2016); No Man’s Land: Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, traveled to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC (2015); 30 Americans, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (2011), which has traveled extensively around the United States (2011-2017, ongoing); and Americans Now, National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC (2010). Thomas’ work is in numerous international public and private collections, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Art Institute of Chicago; MoMA PS1, New York; Brooklyn Museum, New York; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Yale University Art Collection, New Haven, CT; and Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. Thomas has been awarded multiple prizes and grants, including the USA Francie Bishop Good & David Horvitz...
Category

2010s Realist Mickalene Thomas Art

Materials

Digital Pigment, Permanent Marker, Laid Paper

Lena Blanket or Throw by Mickalene Thomas
By Mickalene Thomas
Located in Jersey City, NJ
This wool and cotton blanket by celebrated artist Mickalene Thomas fits a queen or king, or is fantastic has a wall hanging. Produced in collaboration with Pendleton Mills, this l...
Category

2010s American Mickalene Thomas Art

Materials

Wool, Cotton

Mickalene Thomas Left Behind, 2021
By Mickalene Thomas
Located in New York, NY
The new exclusive series of limited edition collages by acclaimed American artist Mickalene Thomas comes in two series of 10 unique collage prints. Phaidon, Artspace, and Avant Arte...
Category

2010s American Mickalene Thomas Art

Materials

Paper

Hot! Wild! Unrestricted!
By Mickalene Thomas
Located in New York, NY
C-Print 24 x 30 inches
Category

Early 2000s Mickalene Thomas Art

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Previously Available Items
Clarivel with Black Blouse and White Ribbon
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When Ends Meet
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Michelle O
By Mickalene Thomas
Located in Toronto, Ontario
Mickalene Thomas (b.1971) is an American artist exploring the intersection of popular culture and art history, through a contemporary Black female gaze. As an openly gay Black woman, sexuality and race are essential themes in Thomas' practice. This print is outside the edition of 40 inscribed ‘project proof’ and numbered 4/4. Looks authentic. Published by Brand X Projects. Thomas frequently creates portraits of black women...
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Early 2000s Contemporary Mickalene Thomas Art

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Why Can't We Just Sit Down and Talk It Over?
By Mickalene Thomas
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Mickalene Thomas (b.1971) is a renowned artist exploring the intersection of popular culture and art history, through a contemporary Black female gaze. She studied at the Pratt Institute, and earned her MFA from Yale. As an openly gay Black woman, sexuality and race are essential elements of Thomas' practice. Thomas primary focus is portraits of black women. Her works are instantly recognizable featuring bold textures, patterns and colors. Thomas' subjects radiate beauty and confidence, further enhanced by the abundance of colorful textures and patterns surrounding them. Their hair is typically natural, and their bodies are often exposed or informal. They lounge, or pose, as women in art history have done for centuries. Only this time, it's Black women being celebrated for their culture and beauty. Visual references to Blaxploitation, Pop Art, Cubism, Dadaism, and even Renaissance art appear in her work. Her subjects, or muses, emanate an air of ease in their skin. Their gaze is usually directed towards the viewer, challenging the white male gaze and defying racial stereotypes of subservience and objectification. This colorful and multi-faceted work "Why Can't We Just Sit Down and Talk It Over?" is a stunning example of Thomas' practice. Created in her signature mixed-media collage style, this screenprint features a poised and beautiful Black woman...
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2010s Contemporary Mickalene Thomas Art

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The High Priestess
The High Priestess
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Portrait of Marie Sitting in Black and White
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I Have Been Good To Me
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Located in Toronto, Ontario
I Have Been Good to Me, 2015 Screenprint, monoprint, silica flocking, wood veneer and digital printing in colors, on museum board, with full margins. I. 51 1/2 x 40 1/4 in. (130.8 x 102.2 cm) S. 56 1/2 x 45 in. (143.5 x 114.3 cm) Signed, dated and numbered out of 20 in pencil, published by Benefit Print Project, New York, unframed. This colorful and multi-faceted work is a stunning example of Thomas' practice. Created in Thomas' signature mixed-media collage style, this work features a poised and beautiful African-American woman serenely surrounded by various textures, colors, and objects. The subject is coiffed, confident, and glamorous in a flared open dress showcasing her gleaming legs and sexy high-heels. The interior elements seem to hint at domesticated nature: leopard print pillows, crocodile upholstered chairs, a white cat statue...
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2010s Contemporary Mickalene Thomas Art

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Mickalene Thomas-I've Been Good To Me-56.5" x 45"-Mixed Media-2015-Contemporary
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Clarivel with Black Blouse and White Ribbon
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Artwork may be viewed at our warehouse in Brooklyn. Additional images and information are available upon request.
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Interior: Blue Couch and Green Owl
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Located in New York, NY
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Mickalene Thomas art for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a wide variety of authentic Mickalene Thomas art available for sale on 1stDibs. You can also browse by medium to find art by Mickalene Thomas in digital print, inkjet print, digital pigment print and more. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 21st century and contemporary and is mostly associated with the contemporary style. Not every interior allows for large Mickalene Thomas art, so small editions measuring 11 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of Ryan McGinley, Gregory Crewdson, and Catherine Opie. Mickalene Thomas art prices can differ depending upon medium, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $3,500 and tops out at $32,750, while the average work can sell for $6,750.

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