Author Archives: Lorie Novak

Hank Willis Thomas – Unbranded

ALUM Hank Willis Thomas current NYC exhibition, Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915-2015,  at Jack Shainman Gallery in Chelsea closes tomorrow May 23. It has gotten a huge amount of press which we have excerpted and linked to below.

The essays from the excellent exhibition catalog are online at Africanah

[excerpt from The truth about adverts: selling the White Woman in The Guardian]

Hank Willis Thomas’s work examines the ways in which advertising has fabricated notions of gender and race, and then convinced us all to buy into them. “I always talk about racism as the most successful advertising campaign of all time,” Thomas says. His work serves as a sort of counter-campaign; one that aims to muddy the myths we’ve been marketed. “I want to complicate the way that I’m seen and the way that I look at other people.”

Chained to perfection, 1965/2015. Photograph courtesy Hank Willis Thomas and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Chained to perfection, 1965/2015. courtesy HWT & Jack Shainman Gallery, NY

His latest exhibition is Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915-2015, in New York. It follows Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America, 1968-2000, his 2007 exhibition that surveyed the branding of blackness. A Century of White Women examines how advertising has helped construct gender ideals over the last 100 years. If racism is the most successful advertising campaign of all time, then sexism, as the work illustrates, isn’t far behind.

[read more]
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More Press

You don’t have to try so hard!, 1958. Artist Hank Willis Thomas and NPR’s Linda Wertheimer used this “unbranded” ad from 1958 — with a man mischievously smiling as a woman laps up beer — as an example of the growing sexualization of women in ads from the late ’50s.

Interview on NPR

 HyperallericThe Unchanging Portrayal of White Women in 100 years of advertisements

Brooklyn Rail: Hank Willis Thomas in conversation with Allie Biswas

HANK WILLIS THOMAS, an essay by Shelley Rice

ForbesHank Willis Thomas reveals truths about women in advertising

IJ Review

NY Magazine

Musee Magazine

Town and Country Magazine

Huffington Post

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2015 Senior Reviews

Congratulations to our Class of 2015. As they participate in graduation celebrations, it seems like a good time to report on our annual Senior Portfolio Reviews where graduating seniors meet with an exciting range of reviewers ranging from curators, photo editors to commercial agents to discuss their work.

We thank our reviewers for their time, generosity, and insight:

  • Samantha Adler, Photo Editor, vogue.com
  • Marcia Allert, Director of Photography, Daily Beast
  • Sam Barzilay, Creative Director, United Photo Industries/Photoville
  • Kalia Brooks, Curator
  • Isolde Brielmaier, Curator & Director of the Contemporary Art Initiative at the World Trade Center
  • Christina Caputo, Special Projects Producer at BOND Strategy and Influence
  • Conni Choi, Curator, Brooklyn Museum
  • Whitney Johnson, Photo Editor, National Geographic
  • Peter Kayafas, artist and book publisher, Eakins Press
  • Paula Kupfer, Managing Editor, Aperture Magazine
  • Olivier Laurent, Chief Photo Editor, TIME Lightbox
  • Myles Little, Photo Editor, TIME magazine
  • Jennifer Miller, Photography Director, Conde Nast Traveler Magazine
  • Whitney Richardson, Photo Editor, New York Times Lens Blog
  • Laura Roumanos, Executive Producer, United Photo Industries/Photoville
  • Anika Sabin, Managing Editor and Assistant Publisher of Capricious Magazine
  • Jeffrey Henson Scales, Photo Editor, New York Times, Sunday Review & Book Review.
  • Sam Shahid, Creative Director
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Thinking about Graduate Programs?

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Chair Deborah Willis interviewed on NPR

Broadcast today on NPR’s Morning Edition, an interview with Deborah Willis and Director Thomas Allen Harris: Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photography Fades Up To Joy.  They speak about their work and the film.

Inspired by the book Reflections in Black by Deborah Willis, the film features the works of photographic artists Carrie Mae Weems, Lorna Simpson, Anthony Barboza, Hank Willis Thomas, Coco Fusco, Clarissa Sligh, James Van Der Zee, Gordon Parks, and many others..

Through A Lens Darkly,  will broadcast Monday, Feb. 16, on the PBS program Independent Lens.

Posted in Department News, Faculty News Tagged , , , |

De Blasio Nominates Alum Hank Willis Thomas to Public Design Commission

De Blasio Nominates Hank Willis Thomas for Painter Seat of Public Design Commission | ARTnews.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced his nominations for the Landmarks Preservation Commission and Public Design Commission. Among them is the artist Hank Willis Thomas, nominated for the Painter seat of the PDC.

Hank Willis Thomas, The Cotton Bowl, series: Strange Fruit, 2011

Willis Thomas is a sculptor, photographer, and installation artist best known for his conceptual photos that explore issues of identity, race, media, and popular culture.

According to a press release from the City of New York, the Mayor’s nominations have been submitted to the City Council for approval. [read more from Art News]

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Other big HWT News:

Beyoncé features Hank Willis Thomas on her website in celebration of Black History Month.

Hank Willis Thomas @beyonce.com

 

 

Posted in Alumni Work, Department News, FYI Tagged , , , , |

Alumnus Hank Willis Thomas – Creative Time Reports

“What Is Common to All of Us?”
Redefining Black Male Identity

by Hank Willis Thomas

Creative Time Reports.
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Drawing from his collaborative transmedia project “Question Bridge: Black Males,” the artist Hank Willis Thomas examines the racial context of the 2012 killing of Jordan Davis as the man who shot the 17-year-old Florida resident, Michael Dunn, is retried for murder.

Screenshot from “Question Bridge: Black Males,” a collaborative transmedia project of Chris Johnson, Hank Willis Thomas, Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair.

Every person has a “day of infamy” in his or her life. For the parents of Jordan Davis, that day was November 23, 2012. For the parents of Trayvon Martin, it was February 26, 2012. For the parents of Michael Brown, it was August 9, 2014. For me, it was February 2, 2000—a Tuesday. That was the day I lost Songha Thomas Willis, my cousin, roommate, best friend and, for all intents and purposes, big brother. He was shot dead in front of dozens of people during a robbery in which he did not resist. [read more]

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African-American Photography [update]

 “Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People” , a film by Thomas Allen Harris inspired by the book “Reflections in Black” (2000), by DPI Chair Deborah Willis’s is playing at Film Forum until September 9 and is getting a great deal of media attention:

Interview on the Tavis Smiley Show with Deborah Willis and Thomas Allen Harris

‘Through a Lens Darkly,’ on African-American Photography
film review by A.O. Scott,  NYTimes.com

Interview with Thomas Allen Harris and Deb Hillis on WNYC.

Alumnus Hank Willis Thomas is one of the featured artists in the film

Alumnus Hank Willis Thomas is one of the featured artists in the film

 

 

 

Posted in Faculty News, FYI Tagged , , , , |

DPI Alumnus Brett Myers & Youth Radio

Alumnus Brett Myers is a producer for Youth Radio, based in Berkeley, CA. He was recently in Ferguson, MO during the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown. He produced this story with young journalist Myles Bess that was featured on NPR > On Ferguson’s Streets, Echoes Of Another Fatal Shooting.

Myles Bess, a reporter and producer with Youth Radio, has been reporting in Ferguson, Mo., where Michael Brown was shot by a police officer on Aug. 9. Bess lives in Oakland, Calif., and in 2009, he lived through the aftermath of the police shooting of another unarmed young black man, Oscar Grant. [read and hear story]

More Youth Radio following Ferguson.

While in Ferguson, Brett also took photos which can be seen on flickr.

Link to more stories on Youth Radio produced by Brett Meyers

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Hank Willis Thomas’s Burning Man Adventures

DPI alumnus Hank Willis Thomas’s Burning Man Adventures Burn Up InstagramFrom artnet news

..how does the desert art rave look through the eyes (and Instagram account) of conceptual artist and photographer Hank Willis Thomas? He’s been in the Black Rock Desert for a week now, posting images from Burning Man both to his personal Instagram feed and that of his gallery, Jack Shainman. [read more]

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Alumnus Monique Jaques On The Ground in Gaza

On The Ground in Gaza – Esquire Magazine
by Elizabeth Griffin
Photographs by Alumnus Monique Jaques

Amidst the landscape of war, civilian lives are thrust into chaos. Homes are destroyed, lives are lost, families are fractured. And then there are the things—the things you keep, the things you cannot carry, and the things you have no choice but to leave behind. Some seem trivial—a pillow, a piece of paper, a box of vitamins—but they tell a story of a life. They tell of the small and big parts.

When the latest round of fighting began between Israelis and Palestinians in July, we asked photographer, Monique Jaques, to create a record of those things from where she was stationed. “During the ceasefires, families would go to see their homes, not knowing what remained until they arrived. Their reactions were devastating. Whether it was shock or outcry, no one was without emotion,” she says. “Many were lucky, some weren’t. They searched through the rubble, looking for anything that was intact. I met several families searching for ID cards and official documents—anything proving their identity and place in the world. The smallest toy or shoe would bring cries of excitement. It was one more thing they had, one more thing that survived. Just like them.” read more

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