The old adage may advise to ‘walk gently and carry a big stick,’ but Bay area artist Hank Willis Thomas seems to have recoined the phrase, allowing his images to speak softly but carry a big ‘whack.’ His photographs, beautiful in composition and formal quality, carry a heavy punch emotionally. Since arriving at Light Work, Hank has been quietly working away. He admits that it is not unusual for him to be working on at least four different projects at any given time. Just a few weeks into his residency, he has spent his time scanning images on Light Work’s high resolution scanner, editing photographs for his upcoming four exhibitions, working on his branding series, adapting his short film “Winter in America” on the murder of his cousin into film stills, and preparing for an upcoming lecture at a regional conference with the Society for Photographic Education.
Hank Willis Thomas holds a BFA in Photography and Africana Studies from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and an MFA in photography and MA in Visual Criticism from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. His work has been shown in museums and galleries across the country. He has upcoming exhibitions at P.S.1 MoMA in Queens, NY; the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning in Jamaica, NY; Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; and the African American Museum in Philadelphia, PA.