Hank Willis Thomas
Hank Willis Thomas
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Eshu at the Crossroads (2016)
Duotone Lithograph on Rives BFK white paper
17 1/2 x 15 inches (paper)
Edition of 20 with 10 APs
Signed and numbered by the artist
Courtesy of Universal Limited Art Editions
Eshu at the Crossroads from the Wayfarer series, is an examination of perspective. Artist, Sanford Biggers (A '98, F '10), costumed in black and white models for the image. His appearance refers to the Yoruba deity of Elegba, a protector of travelers and crossroads, connoting in-between spaces, transition and the psychology of reconsidering an African heritage from an African-American context. The work also blurs the lines between ideas of “whiteness” and “blackness” in order to defy singular notions of identity while emphasizing the inherently hybrid nature of race and culture. Thomas and Biggers discuss the production of the series in an article for ARTnews.
Hank Willis Thomas is a photo conceptual artist working primarily with themes related to identity, history and popular culture. He has exhibited throughout the U.S. and abroad and is in numerous public collections including The Museum of Modern Art New York, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Brooklyn Museum, The Cleveland Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. His collaborative projects have been featured at the Sundance Film Festival and installed permanently at the Oakland International Airport, The Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, The Oakland Museum of California, and the University of California, San Francisco. He is also a recipient of the New Media grant from Tribeca Film Institute and New Media Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography for his transmedia project, Question Bridge: Black Males. He was recently appointed to the Public Design Commission for the city of New York. Thomas is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery in New York City and Goodman Gallery in South Africa.
For his latest project, Mr. Thomas has formed his own Super PAC, called For Freedoms with two collaborators, he told the New York Observer. The PAC will engage artists, who will make work that will later be published as advertisements (PACs must disburse funds contributed to them in election activities, though that is loosely defined) and eventually displayed in an exhibition at Jack Shainman Gallery’s 24th Street location, opening June 7, 2016. So far artists Carrie Mae Weems, Jim Goldberg, Alec Soth and Rashid Johnson are confirmed participants. The PAC is already raising money.