In the month leading up to MLK Day, our blog will be exploring diverse expressions of art created by people of color. The blog will highlight artists, collaborators, performers, poets, filmmakers, and everything in between. We will be exploring creative outlets that express the various ways racial injustice exists today.
Meet: Hank Willis Thomas
Thomas is a visual artist who uses photography and sculpture (among other mediums) to create pieces focused on history, identity, and race. His work has been exhibited throughout the world, from New York’s MOMA to The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. He is widely lauded for his brave, bold works – even getting a nod from Beyoncé when she featured his work on her website.
Thomas’ piece Raise Up (top image) is based on a photograph by Ernest Cole, a South African photographer who worked during the Apartheid Era. It’s imagery – at once vulnerable and powerful – resonates deeply in light of the recent killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, and so many other unarmed black men by police officers. The other featured piece, Zero Hour, also challenges viewers to consider issues of race and injustice. Find out more about Thomas’ work on his website.