The last time I collaborated with mixed-media artist Mickalene Thomas was back in 2013, when arriving to DJ at her Brooklyn exhibition she asked if I’d come with her to Switzerland for Art Basel. For an entire week overseas, she gave me the great honor of being her “in-house” DJ for her commissioned installation, “Better Days” at the Galerie Volkhaus.
When I heard from her studio manager in New York about a continuation to her installation almost 7 years later, and her invitation to return as the house DJ, you better believe I was 100% on board!
Channelling memories of her mother during the late 1970’s (and now into the early 80’s) Better Nights, creates a communal experience that celebrates the collective idea of family in all its multi-splendoured form. For the exhibition, features a 1970s-style home replete with faux wood panelling, wallpaper, and custom upholstered furnishings featuring Mickalene’s signature textiles. The walls adorned with her work and those of friends and contemporaries including Nina Chanel Abney & Derrick Adams among others.
The immersive installation kicked off Basel Miami Beach and remained open every night hosting some of the most exclusive private parties for acclaimed press, art collectors, and even a night dedicated solely to the executives of Dior and celebrity guests Pietro Beccari, Lenny Kravitz and Barbara Becker. My all-vinyl sets (which all exclusively for Mickalene) included a variety of 80’s R&B & funk to compliment some of the musicians who took stage like Jody Watley and Meshell Ndegeocello.
Words can never explain the magic that takes place inside Mickalene’s installations, but I’m forever grateful to have be a part of them. They are forever ingrained in my memory and in my heart.