Lonnie Holley

Lonnie Bradley Holley, self-taught outsider artist, was born February 10, 1950, the seventh of 27 children in Birmingham, Alabama. He was moved around from foster home to foster home until he ran away to Louisiana when he was fourteen. He drifted around the South working as a short-order cook in Louisiana, Florida and Alabama. Eventually Holley settled in Birmingham where he lives today with five of his 15 children.

Sometimes known as The Sandman, he creates juke joint styled paintings on wood that is wild and free flowing with heart. Lonnie's creative spirit rose out of a suicidal depression following the death of two of his sister's children in a house fire. The sandstone sculptures he carved for their graves were the beginning of hundreds of carvings surrounding his home. The sculptor and painter has been making music for decades, sending tapes to his friends, but in the last few years, he began a new career as a recording artist. 

Lonnie Holley, explains, "People call me crazy. They call me foolish. They call me Voodoo Man. They call me Witch Doctor, but I am not a demon-maker. I’m just a reflection of what life is really like.