ANDRE WOOLERY - It's All About The Benjamins
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS, 2012
Mixed Media | Pushpins, Oil Paint
Dimensions: 108" x 48"
This piece is meant to play with the ideas of currency, the power of the mind and the place that Black people hold in the history of the United States of America. American history represented by the paper we trade is an exclusionary tactic. The gloss of the tacks and the bill are meant to clash with the grit of the history of America. Trade in cash for the currency of thought, knowledge and history.
Who is the subject of this piece? The Benjamin displayed here is clearly not Benjamin Franklin, he is Benjamin Banneker. Banneker had little formal education and was largely self-taught. Banneker's knowledge of astronomy helped him author a commercially successful series of almanacs. He is known for being part of a group led by Major Andrew Ellicott that surveyed the borders of the original District of Columbia, the federal capital district of the United States. He also corresponded with Thomas Jefferson, drafter of the United States Declaration of Independence on the topics of slavery and racial equality. Abolitionists and advocates of racial equality promoted and praised his works.
Insider Information. The artist stretched a white canvas over three smaller, connected canvas to build this large canvas. On one of the hidden canvases is a partially completed oil painting of President Obama. It is fitting that the first Black president is part of the piece about US history and Black contribution.