Deb Willis and Hank Willis Thomas at TED Women 2017, New Orleans, November 2017. Courtesy TED
Deborah Willis, PhD, chair of the Department of Photography and Imaging, and DPI alum Hank Willis Thomas (Tisch '05) were invited to give a talk as a part of the TED Women 2017 conference in New Orleans in November. The video was posted today.
An art school professor once told Deborah Willis that she, as a woman, was taking a place from a good man -- but the storied photographer says she instead made a space for a good man, her son Hank Willis Thomas. In this moving talk, the mother and son artists describe how they draw from one another in their work, how their art challenges mainstream narratives about black life and black joy, and how, ultimately, everything comes down to love.