Artist statement: "When I perceive similar characteristics between myself and other people, I feel compelled to learn more about them. In part, this can help satisfy a desire for self-affirmation and the artworks I create often reflect this desire. I am able to validate some of my own life experiences, while simultaneously imagining the world from the perspective of other individuals, by speaking with, photographing, and painting other Black men. Assumptions made before engaging with the people I collaborate with are often blown apart once we begin speaking. These unexpected encounters of diversity are welcome reminders of the breadth of the Black diaspora. The creative process allows me to revel in expressions of individual and collective Blackness, one person at a time. The artworks that I create are a byproduct of that love and curiosity."
- William Paul Thomas