In The Box: Hank Willis Thomas
June 18, 2015 — October 4, 2015
The art of Hank Willis Thomas tackles pop culture through the lenses of race, advertising and corporate branding. He’s been critically hailed as one of the top artists working in America today.
A 39-year-old photographer who has expanded into a wide range of expressive forms, the work displayed here is an audio-activated multimedia presentation. The explosive visuals pulse to a running soundtrack of recordings of black leaders, musicians, ministers, poets, and celebrities.
More than 50 speakers, singers, and spoken-word artists share their observations on racism, equality, injustice, and life in America. Comments range from comic to uncompromising, profound to profane, and during random pauses of silence, the single microphone standing in the middle of the installation invites you to speak up, too.
Thomas’s mother is an art photographer and an NYU professor who once won an MacArthur Fellowship, a so-called Genius Grant. His father, in addition to interests in stocks and real estate, is a jazz musician and film producer.
Thomas is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery in New York. You can find his work in top museums across the country, including the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., the High Museum in Atlanta, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
This is an installation by an artist with something to say, and you are invited to join the conversation via Twitter. If you want to add your voice to the discussion, use the hashtags #CMABox, #HankWillisThomas, or #BlackRighteousSpace.