Smokin Joe Ain't Je'mama, 1978/2006, Lightjet Print, Variable - by Hank Willis Thomas
Over the past few visiting artists, I have really focused on how an artist's speech can effect their lecture. I went and saw the Paul Pfeiffer lecture, and although I enjoyed his interesting work, I think his speech and way of talking about his work effected his lecture in a negative way. However, at Hank Willis Thomas' lecture, he spoke very well, made the crowd laugh a few times, and spoke very confidently about how he has done his work. I believe this helped his art to be looked at with an easier understanding. I really liked his "Unbranded" series.
Slack Power, 1969/2006, Digital C, Variable - by Hank Willis Thomas
I also liked how he figured that he should show work from when he first started out from college. To let us students relate to his work in a easier fashion. I know a lot of students are worried about the real world after we graduate, and it felt good to hear him talk about how he went through the same thing. Like how he graduated from his under graduate studies, and then tried to be a photographer assistant. This didn't work out for him and he felt like he had no ambition. So he tried the option of graduate school. These are the things I wanted to hear from a professional who has done so well over the past few years. I wanted to hear that professionals, that make good money, also struggled when they were fresh out of college.
I didn't really feel as though I had any connection to the type of work he does. But I am interested in trying out the style of erasing writing, or words that might be in photographs. As it leaves the viewer guessing about what the image may be about. Overall, one of my favorite lectures so far. www.hankwillisthomas.com