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Hank Willis Thomas Reimagines the NBA Logo for All-Star Weekend

A series of quilts that weaves in the league’s most iconic players.

Hank Willis Thomas was recently tapped by Helmut Lang to create a ready-to-wear capsule centered around the two disparate phrases. To follow, the American conceptual artist worked alongside the NBA for All-Star Weekend on a new series of artworks titled The New Black Aesthetic.

Made to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the NBA and inspired by scholar Trey Ellis’ seminal piece with the same name, Thomas created five handmade quilts each depicting a legendary black pro basketball player: Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, and Bill Russell.

Sports has always been a topic of discourse for Thomas, who in the past tapped into various uniforms to create engaging assemblages that shift in color and form. Moreover, the artist understands the larger socio-political conversations that are connected to sports and referenced various quilting traditions in the African-American South to create a new and inclusive NBA logo — one that is representative of the NBA’s most iconic players.

The New Black Aesthetic is currently on view at the Caxton Building in Cleveland to coincide with the 2022 NBA All-Star Game.

Elsewhere in art, Maison Ookci’s warped reality comes to life.

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