Friday, April 10, 2009

hank willis thomas/paper magazine's beautiful people/class of 2009

At a time when it seems America has started to think about race more openly, making conceptual art that continues to question preexisting notions on the subject can be tricky. But for trained photographer Hank Willis Thomas, it was necessary. Born out of a personal tragedy -- Willis's cousin, a young black man, was gunned down in Philadelphia simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time -- "Pitch Blackness," both a gallery show (at the Jack Shainman Gallery) and a book (from Aperture), is Thomas's way of making sense of what happened, and of the larger ramifications surrounding his cousin's death. The work, says Willis, represents "my stream of consciousness from a very personal experience and doing straight photography, to actually appropriating photographs and using historical, pop-culture photographs to tell my stories."

To read more, click HERE.

SOURCE: Paper Magazine

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