Saturday, 21 March 2009

Art: Mickalene Thomas

There are many things I aspire to (and will definitely have when I grow-up) -like a savings account (with money in); a pension, a mortgage free life, membership to a concierge service (Quintessentially will do), an au-pair, learn to text, buy Lanvin dresses, own a chesterfield sofa from Mulberry, a Lalique lamp, have Zuber wallpaper, buy my stationery from Smythson, sleep in Frette sheets, wash my smalls with Tocca's Laundry Delicate, buy cashmere throws from Hermes and lots of art by my favourite artists. I love paintings by Henry Ossawa Tanner (The Banjo Lesson 1893 -Hampton University), Harry Roseland ('The Writing Lesson -part of Oprah's private collection), Romare Bearden (The Magic Garden 1978 -The Walter O.Evans Collections of African American Art), Horace Pippin ( Domino Players 1943 -The Phillips Collection), Ghanaian Abstract artist Tafa (Looking Back) and my favourite, Mickalene Thomas. Mickalene's evocative and intimate Blaxploitation-esque art explores power, femininity and keeps the 'gaze' firmly focused on the black female. Swoon over 'Why Can't We Just Sit Down And Talk It Over' 2006 (above) -like the rest of her paintings, it is adorned with rhinestones, enamel and colourful acrylics. Love them or loathe them -Mickalene celebrates the African-American female-like no other artist. Another favourite is her latest piece –a painting of 'our first lady', Michelle Obama –entitled 'Michelle O' 2008 (above).

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