Hank Willis Thomas’ art to change the world

Hank Willis Thomas’ art to change the world

Artist Hank Willis Thomas is leaving his mark in the art community, being featured in art exhibits all over the states as well as Spain, France and China. Specializing in photography, Thomas expresses a range of ideas in several ways. Moreover, he has given other artists the opportunity to do similar work with the organization For Freedoms.

Thomas was born in New Jersey, but raised in the upper west side of New York City. Coming from a very creative family, he has always had some interest in the arts. 

“My parents were both creative oriented, and traveled a lot with their work. My mother is a curator and photographer, and my father is a man of many talents: a physicist, filmmaker, jazz player, [etc.],” says Thomas. “My mother being an artist and an art historian, I grew up following in her footsteps.”

The artist has definitely presented art capable of sparking engaging discourse. With much of his work bringing attention to issues of race in the U.S., Thomas has made an impact with striking images that evoke in-depth thought. Still, with all of his success, he still feels insecurity in his creative process. 

“I think there is always a question of if I am doing something important, something relevant to be done—a concern that my work is worth people’s time,” says Thomas. 

Still, he continues to produce art that he feels is relevant and meaningful. 

“I hope that my work asks good questions about the society we live in and talks more about the things we take for granted, whether that be what we consume, the news, history—not giving in to the narrative that is sold to us,” says Thomas “I hope to express that there is always more to the story than what is in the frame of the camera. I see art in everything, I think at it’s best we don’t separate art from life.”

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Amsterdam News
Hank Willis Thomas CONTRIBUTED