Dior's ongoing podcast series has featured conversations with a multitude of women artists from Penny Slinger to Judy Chicago. The most recent guest is that of renowned artist Mickalene Thomas who discusses feminism, Black womanhood, and artistry for Dior’s ‘Feminist Art’ podcast.
Hosted by Katy Hessel, a London-based writer, curator, and art historian, it shares the minds of those who influence the Dior narrative in art and culture. So far, the heritage brand has spoken with artists, curators, and writers— from Maria Grazia Chiuri herself, to Judy Chicago, Tracey Emin, Paola Ugolini, and Tomaso Binga.
The latest interview in its Feminist Art series puts a spotlight on Black visual artist Mickalene Thomas, who candidly shares her thoughts on the representation of Black femininity and about her career as "an observer and documenter of African American womanhood".
"She knows exactly what she wants, and she's so connected to culture, politics, and society and people, and just in conversation, she's so aware of current events and just the world itself," Thomas says of Maria Grazia Chiuri, Dior's artistic director.
"And I think when you are in a position like she is, that all comes into the creativity. She just sees the world, and she wants to bring that into her conversation. And I think some of the best people want that in their environment, why not?"
Thomas was among the Chiuri-selected team of African artists chosen to show at last year's Cruise collection in Marrakesh.
She reworked the classic Bar jacket by integrating an interpretive patchwork version of a Claude Monet painting on the back.
"The garden is in some way wrapped around the figure, and it can be moved, and it can be worn on her," Thomas says of her design, which was inspired by a residency at Monet's Giverny estate.
On the podcast, Thomas also shares her personal goal to elevate Black women. The artist hopes her works will validate and empower all generations, and encourage them to celebrate their authentic selves.
"When you think historically of the contributions Black women have contributed to society, and what we have done in America, we are still the least paid, the least celebrated, and the least rewarded," Thomas says.
"And I think, as an artist, it is my responsibility to put forth powerful images of Black women for young Black girls to be inspired."
Thomas' interview is available for listening on Dior Talks.
Main image by @mickalenethomas