Carved and painted on cedar chest lid.
19.5″ x 59″
Herbert Singleton’s boldly carved and painted cedar panels both skewer and exalt his life and times. Singleton displayed keen insight into the socio-economic limitations imposed upon many in the New Orleans area. He railed against hypocrisy on both sides of the racial divide. Singleton overcame many hardships, some compounded by his own misdeeds. He survived a near-fatal shooting, drug addiction, and all told, nearly 14 years in prison, many of them in the infamous Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. He first derived meaningful income from artistic endeavors in the early 1980s, carving walking sticks for New Orleans buggy drivers and “voodoo protection” stumps for friends. After his final stint of incarceration, Singleton turned to carving full time and found his métier. The combination of his sure hand as a woodcarver, his symbolic vocabulary and his brightly painted surfaces make him one of the very best contemporary carvers.