Friday, July 10, 2015

Art Review: "Hoodoo" Art carved from inequality by James ‘Son Ford’ Thomas

By Roberta Smith
His birds, snakes, squirrels, and fish are all representative of Delta wildlife in addition to holding symbolic significance in the African-American folk spirituality known as ‘hoodoo,’ in which he believed.
NEW YORK---“James ‘Son Ford’ Thomas: The Devil and His Blues” at New York University’s 80WSE Gallery is an inspirational show about the perseverance of art, and the tragedy of inequality. But it is also a thing of joy: It brings the work of a wonderful and underappreciated artist to the fore. It presents about 100 small, often painted clay sculptures by James (Son Ford) Thomas, a self-taught African-American artist. Born in 1926 in Eden, Miss., an upland village in Yazoo County, he lived his adult life in nearby Leland, Miss., mostly in severe poverty, on the Delta plain. He died in 1993. This exhibition is the largest ever devoted to his art. [link]