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HANK WILLIS THOMAS


Exhibition: February 8 - March 10, 2013
Lecture: March 1, 4 pm
in the UK Student Center's Worsham Theater
FREE

Thomas photographHANK WILLIS THOMAS, The Cotton Bowl, from the series Strange Fruit, 2011, digital C-print, courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York


Employing the visual language of advertising and popular culture, Hank Willis Thomas creates images that are at once immediately accessible and symbolically loaded. Examining the commodification of African American athletes, he presents the familiar Nike symbol as a form of ritual scarification or presents a basketball as a ball and chain. “My work brings history forward through framing our experience of race, class, and gender as conditioned by popular culture then and now,” Thomas says. “Ultimately, my goal is to subvert the common perception of ‘black history’ as somehow separate from American history and to reinstate it as indivisible from the totality of past social, political, and economic occurrences that make up contemporary American culture.”

 

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