Lonnie Holley

A  stylized figure sculpture made from various found objects and carved wood.

This assemblage, which is constructed from found objects and Holley’s wood carvings, addresses the relationship between the living and the dead. In addition to memento mori such as a skull and flowers, Holley incorporated familiar elements of hoodoo, a syncretic African American belief system. Bundles reminiscent of “mojos,” or charm bags, are suspended from the throne, which symbolizes the spirit of the deceased. Merging past with present, the “crack” of the title refers to the structural crack Holley made in the throne’s narrow foundation as well as to the epidemic of crack cocaine. Holley’s art, like his materials, is rooted in the past. He once said, “If we lose respect for that from which we came, we are . . . On the journey to losing our grip with reality. And art allows us to keep that grip.”

Lonnie Holley
American, b. 1950
The Ancestor Throne Not Strong Enough for No Rock nor No Crack, 1993
Paint on wood with plastic tubing, artificial flowers, fabric, cord, animal skull bone, net, and string
American Folk Art Museum, New York, gift of Luise Ross, 2000.10.1
© 2021 Lonnie Holley / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York