Willie Little Nodder Doll
SFMOMA Artists Gallery
Through May 6th
The SFMOMA Artists Gallery presents an exhibit of multimedia assemblage art and large-scale figurative portrait-like paintings by artist Willie Little at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture. The “Willie Little Nodder Doll” exhibit uses the assemblage artworks and large-scale portraits on canvas and wood to celebrate, reclaim, and react to current social dilemmas. As visually and verbally documented in his blog, artist and storyteller Willie Little confronts African-American stereotypes perpetuated by pop-culture objects from the 1950s and other times.
Willie Little reclaims kitschy antique nodder dolls (bobbleheads), originally degrading in their representation of African Americans. In his assemblages, Little ornately embellishes these dolls and uses them to address the subversive nature of racism past and present. His large-scale portraits honor past and modern-day African-American women. His work looks beyond stereotypes to present these women as the foundations of African-American culture and contemporary symbols of beauty, power, and survival.