Mickalene Thomas' 12-minute, two-channel video, Do I Look Like a Lady? (Comedians and Singers) (2016) collages together clips of female comedians and singers, shifting across the screen in an unpredictable, ever-changing pattern. Among the performers featured are Josephine Baker, Jackie "Moms" Mabley, Wanda Sykes, and Whitney Houston. The work presents a piercing, moving, and at times uproarious portrait of the diverse expressions of womanhood, building on Thomas' ongoing reconsideration of black female identity.
The immersive installation is meant to function as a space for viewers to experience inclusion, contemplation, and initiate communication. Furnishings are upholstered in brightly colored, vintage pattern fabrics, recalling Thomas' childhood surroundings and her familial textiles. Woven into the layout, are faux plants and carefully curated stacks of books, from past and present, relating to feminism and African American culture. This work highlights the artist's increasing focus on private, domestic spaces and their relation to a broader cultural framework.
The works have been included in Thomas’ solo exhibitions at the Aspen Art Museum, CO; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; and Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, GA.