Purple Art

[June 16 2013]

Better Days: An Art Bar Installation by Mickalene Thomas for Absolut Art Bureau at Art Basel 2013, Basel

Better Days is Mickalene Thomas’s literal and conceptual reconstruction of the 1970s domestic aesthetic, complete with faux wood panelling and wallpaper as well as custom sofas reupholstered with the artist’s signature textiles.

Much of Thomas’s work explores conventional definitions of beauty, informed and inspired by her study of art history. Her paintings are influenced by a variety of iconic sources, from Edouard Manet and Henri Matisse to Romare Bearden and the 19th century Hudson River School, as well as Pop Art.

Better Days expands on Thomas’s recent series of work. In these installations, Thomas creates domestic interiors which bring to life the 1970s scenery of suburban living rooms, which also appear in her two-dimensional works. Thomas’ installations are stylish reproductions wood panel-clad living rooms, coupled with swathes of psychedelic patterned textiles, blocks of colour, and collages of her personal photographs. Each of her interiors amounts to a self-portrait executed through historic décor.

Photo Annabel Fernandes

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