Hank Willis Thomas | the artist




The artist Hank Willis Thomas
Born 1976, Plainfield, NJ, USA.
Lives and works in New York.

Style and technique of the artist: Greater New York, Photography,


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Hank Willis Thomas
Artist’s website

Hank Willis Thomas
Hank Willis Thomas has created the Br@anded series as a result of, in his words, “an exploration, and subsequent appropriation of the language of advertising.” His work looks at race, class, and history through advertising, focusing predominantly on the use of the African American male body in advertisements. The images draw connections current advertisements that feature the male African American figure and the cotton and slave trades that made America so wealthy. According to the artist, “My goal with the work is to employ the familiar or Roland Barthes what-goes-without-saying, to draw connections and provoke conversations about issues and histories that are often forgotten or avoided in our commerce-infused daily lives.”

Hank Willis Thomas
If looking at a Hank Willis Thomas piece of work makes you uncomfortable, then mission accomplished. He has stripped the skin off an imperfect America by swiftly dealing a blow to viewers’ hearts and minds. Make no mistake, Hank has a point, and he will make sure you listen up…

Hank Willis Thomas
‘An Unidentified Jamaican Boy Uses the Puma H Street Running Shoe to Run for his Freedom’ and other works

Hank Willis Thomas interview
I think Pitch Blackness is a show that’s trying to contend with issues of race, identity, and history in the age of Obama. The title of the show, which I took from the book Aperture published of my work, plays on the idea of pitching or throwing away blackness, the permanency of the color black, and the proposal of blackness as a race…



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