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Artists of African Descent

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Portrait of Qusuquzah #6

48 x 36 in. (121.9 x 91.4 cm)

Mickalene Thomas

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Acrylic, enamel, oil and rhinestones on wood panel
Credit Line: Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Accession Number: 2015.1
Location: Currently on view
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New-York-based artist Mickalene Thomas is best known for her elaborate paintings composed of rhinestones, acrylic, and oil enamel. Her work introduces a complex vision of what it means to be a woman and expands common definitions of beauty.

Thomas’s paintings are based on photographic portraits of models whose qualities allow her to articulate and explore questions of beauty, power, sexuality, and femininity.

"I tend to work with the same models. A lot of them are friends.…So it’s women I work with in proximity to and whose energy I enjoy, and they just have a certain charisma that I’m drawn to. Especially Qusuquzah. There’s something about her. She brings something powerful to the image that amazes me through her gaze. I try to pull out those elements. I’m trying to hold onto the truth she brings in the photograph."

[Gallery label text, Forman Gallery, Summer 2015]

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