James « Son Ford » Thomas
James “Son Ford” Thomas was an American sculptor and Delta blues musician born in 1926 in Eden and who died in 1993 in Greenville, United States. At around ten years old, Thomas produced his first skulls to frighten his grandfather, who feared ghosts. As a child, his uncle taught him to play the guitar and to sculpt with the red “gumbo” clay – a mix of sand, organic matter and fine particles of clay – that he gathered on the banks of the river Yazoo. Later Thomas would say that “we all return to clay” after death. Using this material, Thomas would create his own toys, dogs, horses and Ford Company tractors – which is how he got his nickname “Son Ford.”
His work was included in the exhibition 'Untitled, 2020' (2020) at Punta della Dogana.