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Features / March 4, 2013

Mickalene Thomas on Portraiture, Family Secrets & More at RAFF 2013

Artist Mickalene Thomas in conversation with artist and Feminist Art Gallery director/curator Deirdre Logue Artist Mickalene Thomas in conversation with artist and Feminist Art Gallery director/curator Deirdre Logue

On February 24, 2013, at the Reel Artists Film Festival in Toronto, New York–based artist Mickalene Thomas spoke with Toronto artist and Feminist Art Gallery director/curator Deirdre Logue following the Canadian premiere of Thomas’s film Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Woman.

Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Woman is the first documentary by Thomas, who is best known for her elaborate paintings composed of rhinestones, acrylic and enamel—many paintings being of her mother and muse, Sandra Bush, who is also the subject of the film. In 2012, the Brooklyn Museum opened an acclaimed survey of Thomas’s work entitled “Origin of the Universe.” Her work is in the collection of the Guggenheim Museum, MoMA and the Rubell Family Collection, among others.

Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Woman screened along with Beginnings: Mickalene Thomas, a brief film by Chiara Clemente about Thomas’s practice. This documentation of the post-screening conversation—viewable by clicking on the Video icon above—includes questions from the audience in a concluding Q&A.

The Reel Artists Film Festival is North America’s only film festival devoted exclusively to documentary films about visual art and artists. It is produced by the Canadian Art Foundation and its sponsors. To find out more, please visit canadianart.ca/raff. And to enjoy more talks from RAFF and other Canadian Art Foundation events, please visit our Talks page.

Leah Sandals

Leah Sandals is a writer and editor of white settler Canadian (Irish and Ashkenazi) descent. She is also news and special sections editor at Canadian Art and has written for the Toronto Star, National Post and Globe and Mail, among other publications. Sandals welcomes tips, corrections and comments anytime at leah@canadianart.ca.