About Clifford Thompson 

He is a Brooklyn, New York–based visual artist and writer born and raised in Washington, DC. He attended Oberlin College His published books include, Love for Sale and Other Essays(2013), which won the 2013 Whiting Writers’ Award for nonfiction;Twin of Blackness: A Memoir(2015); and What It Is: Race, Family, and One Thinking Black Man’s Blues(2019). Since 2020 he has been a member of Blue Mountain Gallery, in New York.

Artist Statement

Working in acrylic, I paint representations of my interests and obsessions: literature, film, music, hats, whiskey, and—perhaps especially—childhood. My work can thus be said to beautobiographical. As a child I was inspired by comics: the simple forms of Charles M. Schulz’s strip Peanuts and the bold colors of Marvel Comics publications helped form my visual sensibility. An element of mystery sometimes makes its way into my work; viewers may feel as if they are witnessing a moment in an ongoing story whose origin and ending they can only guess at.(I often don’t know the answer either.) Most of the human subjects of my paintings areBlack; the paintings emphasize their humanity more than their Blackness.



February–March 2023:“Painting Story,”solo painting show at Blue Mountain Gallery, NewYork, NY(the show was part of the subject of“Renaissance Man,”an interview I gave for the Commonweal magazine podcast, March 2023)January–February 2023:“The Long View: Creativity Over Time,”group show at Blue MountainGalleryMarch 2022:“5New Members,”group painting show at Blue Mountain GalleryNovember 2020:“An Autobiography in Painting,”solo online exhibit sponsored by WagnerCollege, Staten Island, NYMay 2020: Solo online exhibit on Artsy

Art in publications and documentary:

Writer and illustrator ofBig Man and the Little Men: A Graphic Novel(Other Press, 2022),reviewed inThe (London) Times Literary Supplement,Publishers Weekly,Booklist,ShelfAwarenessPaintings featured in journals includingVoice MaleandBlink-Ink(journal of flash fiction)Painting,Going North, featured inThe Bungalows of Rockaway(2010), directed by JenniferCallahan and aired on WNET–Channel 13, New York, NY