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ARTIST MONOGRAPHS

PUBLISHER
Karma, New York

BOOK FORMAT
Paperback, 5.75 x 8.75 in. / 152 pgs / 71 color / 20 duotone.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Out of stock indefinitely

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2017 p. 89   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781942607380 TRADE
List Price: $25.00 CDN $34.50 GBP £22.00

AVAILABILITY
Not available

TERRITORY
WORLD

"If you can't hold it in your head, you can't do it in your hand."
— James 'Son Ford' Thomas

  

KARMA, NEW YORK

James 'Son Ford' Thomas: The Devil and His Blues

Text by David Serlin, William Ferris, Thomas J. Lax, Kinshasha Holman Conwill, Velma Allen, Jonathan Berger.

James 'Son Ford' Thomas: The Devil and His BluesJames ‘Son Ford’ Thomas: The Devil and His Blues accompanies the eponymous show at Studio Museum and New York University’s 80WSE Gallery, the largest ever devoted to Thomas’ work. Thomas (1926–1993)—a self-taught African-American artist and musician who lived in severe poverty for most of his life—created small, often painted clay busts of friends and family and people he met. "When I do my sculpturing work things just roll across my mind. I lay down and dream about the sculpture," he wrote. "That gives you in your head what to do. If you can’t hold it in your head, you can’t do it in your hand." Nearly 100 of these sculptures are displayed alongside full-bleed installation shots and text contributions by David Serlin, William Ferris, Thomas J. Lax and Kinshasha Holman Conwill, among others.

Untitled, circa 1988, is reproduced from 'James 'Son Ford' Thomas: The Devil and His Blues.'

James 'Son Ford' Thomas: The Devil and His Blues

STATUS: Out of stock indefinitely.

FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 3/26/2017

James 'Son Ford' Thomas: The Devil and His Blues

James 'Son Ford' Thomas: The Devil and His Blues

Delta blues musician, gravedigger, mechanic, housepainter and sharecropper James 'Son Ford' Thomas made small clay artworks from Mississippi "gumbo" clay from the time he was eight years old until his death in 1993. A self-taught artist, he is best known for his uncanny busts of historical figures, friends and imaginary characters sporting artificial hair, dentures, glasses, and other relics of the living world. He also made unfired clay sculptures of birds, snakes, squirrels, fish and skulls—all of which had significance in the folk spiritual practice, 'hoodoo.' Often, his skulls doubled as ashtrays or pencil holders. "A skull has got to be ugly because it's nothing but bones and teeth. People are more likely to be interested in something like that than they would be in a bird. They'd rather see a skull. Then too, a lot of people have never seen a real skull and they're probably wondering how it will be when they die. They say, 'Will I be in the same shape that skull there is in?'" continue to blog


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