Elena Martinique for Wide Walls - 29 September 2016
Hank Willis Thomas - Exploring Advertising Generalisations
A conceptual artist living and working in New York City, Hank Willis Thomas centers his work around themes related to perspective identity, commodity, media and popular culture. He often incorporates recognizable advertising icons and imagery in his work. Commenting on advertising, he stated: “Part of advertising’s success is based on its ability to reinforce generalizations developed around race, gender and ethnicity which are generally false, but [these generalizations] can sometimes be entertaining, sometimes true, and sometimes horrifying.” His most famous pieces are series B®anded and Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America 1968-2008, a work created from appropriated advertising imagery. Inspired by artists such as Carrie Mae Weems and Lorna Simpson, he uses the language and familiar imagery to explore issues that are often overlooked in our modern society.