Lonnie Holley was born on February 10, 1950 in Birmingham, Alabama. From a young age, he faced adversity and had to work various jobs just to survive. Despite his difficult upbringing, Holley found solace in art and music. Since 1979, he has dedicated his life to improvisational creativity, expressing himself through drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, performance, and sound. His sculptures are made from found materials and tell powerful stories of African American culture. Similarly, his music is improvised and ever-evolving. Through years of experimentation, Holley has created a unique artistic style that resonates with depth and purpose.
Holley's early life was marked by chaos and instability as he moved between different homes and foster care. However, this challenging upbringing fueled his curiosity and drive for creative expression.
Inspired by the oldest tradition of African American sculpture [and repurposing objects], Holley constructs narrative sculptures that pay homage to significant people, places, and events in history.