in other words

Everything you ever wanted to know about the art market but didn't know who to ask
28 February 2019

(Left to right) Antwaun Sargent, Mickalene Thomas and Racquel Chevremont

#53 The “Daft Punk of Contemporary Painting”—Artist Mickalene Thomas

BY Charlotte Burns
executive editor of In Other Words

In the words of the Los Angeles Times, the artist Mickalene Thomas “is to contemporary painting what Daft Punk is to music: acclaimed as one of the more original remix artists working today.” Her genre-busting work takes many forms, and grapples with bodies and their desires, with power, equity and identity. In today’s episode, she talks about community and collaboration—both essential to her practice—in a conversation with her partner and muse, the art consultant Racquel Chevremont, the cultural critic Antwaun Sargent and Charlotte Burns, the host of In Other Words.

Thomas and Chevremont recently launched “Deux Femme Noires”, an organization focused on mentoring emerging artists of color. “The more of us that come up, the better," Chevremont says "We want the room to be filled with us.” 

Thomas was studying to be a lawyer when a chance encounter with the photographs of Carrie Mae Weems inspired her to change direction and become an artist herself. Whatever that power is, or mystery one may feel when they’re excited by or inspired by particular art—I knew that’s what I wanted to do with images," Thomas says. "And I knew I wanted to create that space for others.”

Tune in for more from the artist, the muse and the writer in today's episode.


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Art Agency, Partners is a bespoke art advisory firm founded in 2014, and built upon decades of combined experience, to provide counsel to many of the world's leading art collectors and institutions on collection assessment and development, estate planning, and innovative approaches to museum giving and growth.

Editor Charlotte Burns