Mickalene Thomas, July 1977, 2019
The New York Times has created a new interactive feature titled The Afrian-American Art Shaping the 21st Century: Kerry Washington on Beyoncé, Ta-Nehisi Coates on Kendrick Lamar, Oprah Winfrey on Toni Morrison, Issa Rae on ‘Scandal’, and 31 other prominent black artists on the work that inspires them most.
The feature highlights excerpts from conversations with a group of prominent African-American creators whom have played a significant role in defining the 21st century in America. In the article’s opening statement, Wesley Morris states, “So while the power these artists have attained might be a breakthrough, the primacy energizing their art is centuries old.”
Mickalene Thomas is one of the 35 artists that contributed to the feature. She spoke about her interest in Jet Magazine’s “Beauty of the Week” visual feature which has inspired several of Thomas’s new works, including July 1977.