I’m in the hall already/On the wall already/ I’m a work of art/ I’m a Warhol already/On another level/ On another plane already
And from that inspiration, self-taught contemporary artist Andre Woolery channeled Shawn Carter & Andy Warhol and crossed over from traditional oil painter to innovative visual artist. His new medium of choice? Thumbtacks. Over 50,000 thumbtacks to be exact. 50,000 thumbtacks placed by hand. Woolery’s dedication to his craft is evident, and his extraordinary creations are further proof that his vision as an artist is unique and refreshing. Get a better view of the world of a true artistic wizard.
Creating a single image of Jay-Z from over 7,600 individual multi-colored thumbtacks, Woolery ask the viewer to do with their eyes what they have traditional done with their ears. When internalizing music, the listener has to take in every word to understand an entire line, and has to take in every line to understand an entire song. Each single thumbtack in Woolery’s work connects to create a group of thumbtacks, and each group of thumbtacks connects to create a complete picture. The subject is brought to life through the joining of separate pieces, much in the same way many different elements combine to make up who we are as individuals.
Woolery further explores this connection in other famous personalities. His 24” by 28” canvas of the late rock legend, Jimi Hendrix and his “Tacks On Tacks On Tacks” portrait of rap superstar Kanye West, reveals his apprecation of artistic expression for various musical genres. But black music isn’t Woolery’s only source of influence for his work, black history also plays an important role in the images he creates.
Woolery’s “Wet Paint” piece featuring President Barack Obama and his 23,000 thumbtack monument to 18th Century black intellect, Benjamin Banneker, “It’s All About The Benjamins”, delves into political and social commmentary on African Americans’ contributions to American society. The visuals allow the viewer to ponder what African Americans’ ancestors had to sacrifice so today’s generations can achieve goals once thought unattainable.
From 1970’s psychadellic rock to 21st Century luxury rap, from the lone African American who helped design the capital of the United States to the first African American to be President of the United States, Woolery’s Bruised Thumbs collection is a viewpoint of an artist who values the contributions of the past, melds with the trends of the present, and visualizes the promise of the future.
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