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Lonnie Holley
Saturday, January 12, 2019
Harold M. Williams Auditorium
Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Our sense of place has a big impact on our perspective of the world. Join artist and musician Lonnie Holley as he performs compositions inspired by his upbringing in the American South.



Holley has devoted his life to the practice of improvisational creativity since 1979. Born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1950 as the seventh of 27 children, his art and music came out of struggle, hardship, and, perhaps most importantly, furious curiosity and biological necessity. His art has manifested itself in drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, performance, and sound. Holley's journey seeking healing in the transformative power of art has lead him to collaborate and tour worldwide with artists like Animal Collective, Bon Iver, Bill Callahan and Deerhunter, to name just a few, and his artwork has been exhibited widely from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the White House. 

A recent profile in The New Yorker described Holley's acclaimed 2018 album Mith as "strange and warm," with songs that could equally "refer to the nation right now, or to Holley's childhood in the pre-civil-rights-era South." Holley's unique musical improvisations and rambling stream-of-consciousness lyrical constructions are described as containing "hints of Stevie Wonder, Sun Ra, Lou Reed, Alice Coltrane, Gil Scott-Heron, Miles Davis." It is a "mélange...that that feels both new and borrowed," which Holley reinvents at each performance. "When Holley gets going, he conjures something in a room," taking the audience on a "collective trip." Click here to read more.

This program complements the current exhibition of photographs by Sally Mann. Both Mann and Holley use experimental techniques to reflect on family, the dark history of the American South, and contemporary politics. Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings is on view in the Center for Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum through February 10, 2019.