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Mother Universe Communicates With LONNIE HOLLEY as He Creates Unreal ART!

Words via Nowness

African-American artist-musician Lonnie Holley has long used his art to transcend, growing up in Jim Crow-era Alabama, and transforming the difficulties he encountered into a life of deep existential art and creation. Drawing upon themes interwoven with the African-American experience lived in the midst of the American Civil Rights movement, his work channels narratives anchored in history, transcribing and commemorating the past, while maintaining an eye on the future.

Approaching art as a spiritual endeavor, a memorial carved from sandstone for his niece and nephew became an early catalyst for the cathartic weight carried by his work – spanning painting, sandstone carvings, and sculptures comprising found objects and debris. In a short film by director Liz Barclay, Holley demystifies his artistic practice from his Atlanta studio, detailing its thematic core and the environment that has shaped it.

“Lonnie’s journey is a powerful testament to the human spirit. He continually persevered through adversity, and works in symphony with Mother Universe, listening and gathering inspiration from her messages which he communicates through his art.”

With the opening of a new solo presentation with BLUM at Paris+ par Art Basel, Barclay captures the profound underpinnings of Holley’s multidisciplinary archive, telling a piece of the artist’s singular story through the lens of his work and influences. Exploring found materials as a medium borne from what was once a means of survival, the film traces fragments from Black American history via Holley’s artistic retellings of the past, intended to overcome the collective amnesia that accompanies it. 

Photo by Timothy Duffy
LONNIE HOLLEY
Photo by Timothy Duffy
Written By

“IRON
Sentient 51423

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