Hank Willis Thomas: why does America's great protest artist think things are better under Trump? Hank Willis Thomas: why does America's great protest artist think things are better under Trump? - ImagesGram

Hank Willis Thomas: why does America's great protest artist think things are better under Trump?

He is one of America’s most outspoken artists. As his new show The Beautiful Game hits Britain, Hank Willis Thomas talks about sport as warfare and why race is a myth
Tim Jonze
Tuesday 10 October 2017 06.00 BST
For some people, football is a matter of life and death. But for Hank Willis Thomas, much like Bill Shankly, it’s far more important than that. Yes, on an aesthetic level The Beautiful Game, his first solo UK show, is a riot of colour and energy: dazzling patchwork collages of Premier League football tops; totem poles of rugby, football and cricket balls inspired by Romanian sculptor Constantin Brâncusi; a solitary leg performing a midair bicycle kick that invites you to hear the gasps of a non-existent crowd.
But Thomas is also attempting to start a conversation about what the game represents. Beyond the shock of seeing Liverpool and Manchester United jerseys snuggled up next to each other, cooperating in the same colour scheme, you’re also asked to examine the web of corporate sponsorship logos and expensive players from across the globe, and to question the contradictions that underpin Britain’s national sport. Who is really making the money? How many people’s dreams and labours come to nothing so that a select few can succeed? And why are we so determined to pick sides?