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Pitch Man: Hank Willis Thomas

21st Century Soul Power, 2005/2006;
Image courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, NYC

Pitch Man: Hank Willis Thomas
November 1-December 9, 2012
Bookstore and Gallery

Visual Studies Workshop
31 Prince Street
Rochester, New York 14607

Reception: Thursday November 1, 6-8PM
First Friday: Friday November 2, 6-9pm
Hours: Thursdays 5-8PM, Fridays through Sundays 12-5PM
Curators Tour: Saturday December 1, 12-3PM

Visual Studies Workshop is pleased to announce the exhibition Pitch Man with selected works by multimedia artist and conceptual photographer Hank Willis Thomas. The exhibition features 11 works that deconstruct advertising directed at black males. In their essay for the exhibition, guest co-curators Carla Williams and Oscar Palacio, have the following to say about Thomas and their selection of works: "In our selection, we chose to focus on black men - not in comparison to any other group, but as a distinct entity that occupies a complicated place within popular culture, as well as a significant place within Thomas's expansive practice... Through his manipulations and reconfigurations of images that we have consumed regularly for decades, Thomas casts himself as a twenty-first century "pitch man," though instead of sneakers or alcohol, he's selling a pointed critique of branding and complicity that requires the viewer to honestly examine his or her own ideals and beliefs - and consumption patterns - based on desire, race, and marketing".

Pitch Man can be viewed in Visual Studies Workshop's Bookstore and Gallery, 31 Prince Street, Rochester, NY November 1 through December 9, 2012 on Thursdays 5-8PM and Fridays through Sundays from 12-5PM. There will be a reception for the exhibition from 6-8PM on November 1, 2012 that will coincide with the opening of the NE SPE Conference hosted by Visual Studies Workshop.

An informal discussion and tour of the exhibition with co-curators Williams and Palacio will be held on Saturday December 1, 2012 from 12-3PM. All gallery hours, the reception, and tour are free and open to the public.

Pitch Man is presented as part of the NE SPE Conference in Rochester, NY November 1-3, 2012. The conference theme is Expansion: how photography has expanded since the 1960s and what are we going to do with the unprecedented growth of images in the world? Conference events will include lectures, panel discussions, portfolio reviews, and several exhibitions.