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Mickalene Thomas

Mickalene Thomas

American, born 1971

Mickalene Thomas has a distinguished academic training, receiving degrees from both Pratt Institute in 2000 and Yale University in 2002 after which she was an artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Her solid grounding in the history of Western art is evident in her monumental paintings which show influences of the work of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Edouard Manet, and Henri Matisse along with many others. By presenting portraits of self-possessed and confident African American women, Thomas subverts the traditional objectification of women in art. her characteristic use of enamel on panel studded with rhinestones and crystals gives her work a sumptuousness that is immediately recognizable.
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