|Mickalene Thomas; Portrait of Madame Mama Bush 1 (2010); |
Rhinestones, acrylic, and enamel on wood panel; 84 x 108 inches.
Copyright Mickalene Thomas.
MICKALENE THOMAS INTERVIEW BY SEAN LANDERS
SEAN LANDERS: What's not being said about your work that you think should be [talked] about?
SL: Why do you think that is?MICKALENE THOMAS: The formal aspects of my work. That I'm looking at paintings, that I'm thinking about abstraction. No one talks about the work as paintings. For me, that's the missing discourse. The Le dejeuner [sur l'herbe: Les Trois Femmes Noires] painting that I did at MoMA is not just Manet or Matisse. I was looking at constructivism and thinking of ways to radically break up the picture plane. I was looking at Fernand Leger when I made that painting, and Romare Bearden. I was considering all those components, finding a way to make them my own. So all of those elements are in there but no one talks about what's really constructed and how I'm looking at painting.
MT: It could be that the materials I use are too seductive and all-consuming, but that's a part of the concept. People get so caught up with the rhinestones. The rhinestones are really just one part of the work among many. They are a way of masking things and they refer to the idea of artifice.