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Willie Cole

The Smile that Bites (TSTB), 2018

Shoes, wire, and screws
19 × 20 3/4 × 10 1/2 in
48.3 × 52.7 × 26.7 cm
This is a unique work.
Contact For Price
location
New York
Have a question? Read our FAQ.
Willie Cole
American, b. 1955
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A self-described “contemporary artist, perceptual engineer, ecological mechanic, transformer,” Willie Cole has been altering perceptions of household objects since the 1990s. He ingeniously transforms steam irons, ironing boards, hairdryers, and high-heeled shoes into powerful sculptures, installations, and works on paper. Mining his own African-American heritage, Cole creates work that celebrates African art and culture and confronts viewers with the painful history of slavery in America. He has concocted African masks out of high heels, sculptures of African fauna out of kitchen chairs, and slave ships out of iron marks. Guided by these objects, Cole uncovers the ramifications of their use, as he explains: “The objects have a memory and history of their own. So if you have a slave, or just a domestic worker, people working for little money, their objects have a memory of that experience.”

navigate left
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Willie Cole
American, b. 1955
Follow

A self-described “contemporary artist, perceptual engineer, ecological mechanic, transformer,” Willie Cole has been altering perceptions of household objects since the 1990s. He ingeniously transforms steam irons, ironing boards, hairdryers, and high-heeled shoes into powerful sculptures, installations, and works on paper. Mining his own African-American heritage, Cole creates work that celebrates African art and culture and confronts viewers with the painful history of slavery in America. He has concocted African masks out of high heels, sculptures of African fauna out of kitchen chairs, and slave ships out of iron marks. Guided by these objects, Cole uncovers the ramifications of their use, as he explains: “The objects have a memory and history of their own. So if you have a slave, or just a domestic worker, people working for little money, their objects have a memory of that experience.”

Willie Cole

The Smile that Bites (TSTB), 2018

Shoes, wire, and screws
19 × 20 3/4 × 10 1/2 in
48.3 × 52.7 × 26.7 cm
This is a unique work.
Contact For Price
location
New York
Have a question? Read our FAQ.
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