It is not often that I buy a piece by a known artist, but this painting by Willie Jinks happened to cross my path and I fell in love with it. I was somewhat familiar with the work of Jinks (1921-2012), a self-taught, African American artist from Atlanta, Georgia, but have become more so since finding this, learning enough to believe that this is both a great and representative example of his work, weaving together numerous recurring themes and attributes, including houses, birds, and figures; energetic dots and dashes; red, white and blue palette; scavanged materials; and the phrase "Hopman" (or "Hoperman"). I especially love the incorporation of what I take for a utility pole at lower right, seeming to animate the whole painting with an electrical charge.
From the website of Shrine Gallery, NYC/LA, which features half a dozen examples of his work: Jinks was born into a sharecropper family in Locust Grove, Georgia, and was one of 13 children. He eventually moved to Atlanta as a young man, where he began working for the department of sanitation. Later in life, and while on the job, Jinks began salvaging and collecting junk found on the job to make into art.
In the artist's own words, “People throws this stuff out. I get in my van and go collect it, and bring it back to the Hobby Shop”. His “Hobby Shop” was a small shed in the backyard that eventually overflowed to encompass his home and yard. During his prolific life, Willie Jinks created many whirligigs for his front yard and also made a large number of paintings depicting his memories of life growing up in rural Georgia, animals, fantastical creatures and recreations of funny stories he'd heard, which were executed on found doors, sheet metal, plywood, windows, paper and chipboard. Jink's fascination with animals, nature, and mechanical things is visible throughout all of his artwork, and he is most famous for his “Hoperman” (“Hobbyman”) character, who shows up in much of his work and the cryptic writing on most of his pieces and was most likely a reference to himself, "The Hobby Man".
28" x 22" (weighs about 4 pounds) and in good condition, painted on thick, dense, heavyweight chipboard, with a tiger print on reverse! Three old holes at the top for hanging. Just a bit of overall warp, pretty minor and not at all visibly detracting. Wear to the lower left corner, as documented.