Lonnie Holley, ‘Ships Obstacles’, 2013, Paulson Fontaine Press

About Lonnie Holley

Lonnie Holley is a man of many myths and talents. Born in Jim Crow-era Birmingham, Alabama, as the seventh of 27 children, Holley traveled across the South and held a wide array of jobs (grave digger, cotton picker, and short-order cook at Disney World) before making his first artwork at the age of 29. Self taught, he started carving sculptures from sandstone and then settled on his preferred material: found objects. Holley has made totemic sculptures from items such as steel scrap, plastic flowers, melted televisions, defunct machines, and crosses. His work has been collected by several museums, including the Birmingham Museum of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Recently, Holley has also gained recognition for his music, and he has collaborated with the indie-rock bands Dirty Projectors and Animal Collective.

American, b. 1950, Birmingham, Alabama, based in Birmingham, Alabama