Patricia Reneé Thomas, Boardwalk (With Fries), 2022; Hand-Embellished, Signed, and Numbered Limited Edition Print
Patricia Renee' Thomas (b.1995) is a Philadelphia-based artist exploring memory and reimagining the rules and spaces governing her body and life as a Black woman. Thomas received an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania and a BFA from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Renee’ Thomas has been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions including Terms & Conditions and Don’t Worry, We’ll Be Back Soon at Kravets-Wehby Gallery (New York, NY); GRAPE JUICE at Kapp Kapp Gallery (Philadelphia, PA) and exhibitions at both the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History(Detroit, MI) and Delaware Contemporary Museum (Wilmington, DE) among others.
Boardwalk (With Fries) is a narrative painting of the artist and her sister walking along the boardwalk in Virginia, where her family was not always welcome. Thomas refocuses this too-typical narrative by drawing attention to the family and environment, releasing the power racism and prejudice could have over the scene. Inspired by the work of Pontormo and other Mannerist artists, the care and love between the two figures is palpable, from the artist with her thick pink twists, carrying the tray and turning toward her younger sister as they move out of the canvas. Thomas imbues a hostile environment with the joy and essence of their presence—the love between the sisters and beauty of the day through vibrant highlights in the flora, fauna, and shadows stretching up behind the women. Unapologetically Black, the artist creates a rich, poetic depth in the figures' skintones, with painterly highlights in the faces and hands that create movement and reverence defining this contemporary era of Black figuration and portraiture. The artist has hand-embellished the edition with painted collage details, making each print unique.
ART FOR CHANGE will donate a portion of proceeds to the International Rescue Committee in support of humanitarian aid in the wake of the devastating earthquakes in Syria and Turkey for the duration of 5 Years: An Art For Change Survey on view through March 25, 2023. As in all series, the artist will receive 50% of the net proceeds of print sales.
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