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Joy Keys chats with Artist Mickalene Thomas about her HBO documentary

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Joy Keys

Joy Keys


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Runway model Sandra Bush dreamed of becoming the first African-American supermodel, only to struggle with addiction and despair. But she later achieved celebrity as Mama Bush, the model for some of the best-known and widely admired paintings by her daughter, acclaimed artist Mickalene Thomas.

In her film directing debut, Thomas paints a poignant portrait of her mother and artistic muse, presenting a tender look back at a lifetime’s worth of hopes, regrets and redemption. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN debuts MONDAY, FEB. 24 (9:00-9:30 p.m. ET/PT), on HBO during Black History Month.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN was conceived and directed by Mickalene Thomas; produced by Tanya Selvaratnam; executive producers, the Lehmann Maupin Gallery, Mickalene Thomas and Lisa Cortés; distribution consultant, Sarah Lash; cinematographers, Shane Sigler and Omar Mullick; editor, Alex Meillier; music by Thomas M. Lauderdale.

Check out the film trailer: http://www.hbo.com/documentaries/happy-birthday-to-a-beautiful-woman/index.html#/documentaries/happy-birthday-to-a-beautiful-woman/video/trailer.html

Known primarily for elaborate paintings composed of rhinestones, acrylic and enamel, Mickalene Thomas holds an MFA degree in painting from Yale University. Centering on womanhood and the expanded definition of beauty in today’s society, her work is exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally, and can be found in several significant collections, including those of the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Brooklyn Museum of Art.