In our latest First Take series, TIME speaks with conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas about what makes a great photograph.
“Whoever is holding the frame is actually creating the story,” he says. “What makes a great photographer is their ability to actually find that thing again and again.”
Thomas’s life work focuses on identity, commodity, media, and popular culture. His advertising mockups, which often incorporate recognizable icons into his work from well-known brands, question generalizations developed around race, gender and ethnicity.
Watch this TIME video to hear Thomas talk about his process.
Hank Willis Thomas is a contemporary African-American visual artist, photographer and arts educator interested in race, advertising and popular culture.
- The Fight to Save the Salmon
- Inside the World of Black Bitcoin, Where Crypto Is About Making More Than Just Money
- The 'Great Resignation' Is Finally Getting Companies to Take Burnout Seriously. Is It Enough?
- Suddenly, Everyone on TV Is Very Rich or Very Poor. What Happened?
- Colin Powell Reflects on His Mistakes in Unpublished TIME Interview
- Business Travel's Demise Could Have Far-Reaching Consequences
- If the U.S. Spends Big on Climate, the Rest of the World Might Follow