Interview: David Berliner Gives a Tour of the Art at Barclays Center

Mickalene Thomas, Untitled 2012

"So this is a mural by Mickalene Thomas, another Brooklyn artist whose studio is not too far from here. We had the idea of creating a major mural in this space, because this is the suite level. She wanted to create a photo collage with a painting over it that had Brooklyn’s landmarks, and in total, it's 130-feet long and 22-feet high

It took a few weeks to install. It was really down to the wire, because the whole building was down to the wire. We had the Jay-Z concert scheduled, and the day before, this place wasn’t done. We had these pre-opening events where we were introducing this to the neighborhood, and Mickalene's piece wasn’t finished yet. She didn’t want people to see it in-progress, so we draped this entire area and made it off-limits. She had a crew of assistants who were here literally through the night. At the time, she was about to have a baby and was putting on her show at the Brooklyn Museum.

She did an amazing job of incorporating the columns into this; it's just brilliant. You can see the painting by hand. She is very careful, she wants to make sure her work is presented in a certain way. She was actually playing with the piece up until it was presented. She introduced two new colors the day before it debuted. This combines landscapes both in color and material."

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