Thornton Dial – Folk Artist

1. “Don’t Matter How Raggly The Flag, It Still Got to Tie Us Together”, 2003  | 2. The artist, Thornton Dial | 3. “Lost Cows”, 2000-2001

Thornton Dial, a self taught artist, passed away on Monday, January 25th. His assemblages was an exploration of American history using a vernacular that was exquisitely black and southern. Dial used toys, rope, bones, wood, tin, cloth – just about anything that he saw could be utilized and transformed.

He was an accomplished artist whose work was acquired by top institutions – the MOMA, the Smithsonian, and the Whitney – no small feat for a man born into a sharecropper family in a small town in Alabama.

Dial’s voice and vision will surely be missed.

{rest in peace}

“I like to use the stuff that I know about, stuff that I know the feel of…” — Thornton Dial


{Eargasm Friday} – Bilal “Open Up the Door”


Those who know me personally know that I absolutely adore Bilal Oliver. It’s been that way since I first heard “Soul Sista” back in 2001. (That video solidified my feelings!) In the years since that precious jewel dropped, Bilal has blessed us with 5 dope albums (including the leaked project, Love 4 Sale) and more features than we could ask for.

The brotha can sang. Period.

His new project, In Another Life, is magic and features productions by mad genius, Adrian Younge. Thus far, I can’t get over “Open Up the Door”. It’s a beautiful reminder to never forsake the tough times – after winter, comes spring.

If you need a musical pick me up, press the play button below.

{steel sharpens steel}



pics + brushes is a look into the creative genius {dopeness} of black artists. Though this blog will mainly highlight traditional visual media (painting, sculpture, photography), other mediums will be explored as well, such as adornment, architecture, design, and new media.

Though our people were spread far and wide, art is our connection to each other and the world-at-large. {Cipher}

I will do my very best to give credit where credit is due for all work featured on this blog. My goal is to support the work of black artists. If you see an unattributed piece, please feel free to notify me of the artist via email at

Welcome to pics + brushes!