ANDRE WOOLERY - Double Exposure Frederick Douglass
DOUBLE EXPOSURE FREDERICK DOUGLASS, 2014
Mixed Media | Pushpins, Oil Paint
Dimensions: 48" x 60"
This collection is an ongoing series that portrays historical Black figures with thousands of pushpins. Using the visual style of a double exposure photograph the artist offers two visual planes; a portrait of an icon and a glimpse into their life story.
What were your references for this piece? The background of this piece is a hand painted replica of one of the slave papers that sold Frederick Bailey as property to new owners. In the forefront is the portrait of Frederick Douglass, a freed slave, talented orator, and leader of the abolitionist movement. This is meant to juxtapose oppression and power.
What was the process to create this piece? The initial phase involved finding an artifact that represented the oppressed side of his life. I found Frederick Bailey's slave papers that sold "one negro man for life" at the price of $100. The act of hand painting each word of this document selling a human as physical property made me really grasp the depths of systematic oppression. It was soul disturbing. Then as I pushed each pushpin to create the portrait of a free man, that feeling transitioned to inspiration. That revolutionary spirit I think has residual effects that flows to future generations that continue the momentum. For me the process encapsulated the history and the resilience of the Black experience in America.