Mr. Imagination (Gregory Warmack, American, 1948-2012)
Under the name of “Mr. Imagination,” Gregory Warmack (1948-2012) saw the untapped possibilities in everyday or discarded objects, transforming them into spectacular works of art. At times whimsical and at times commanding, his pieces always have an individual force and an animating presence. He grew up in Chicago, already making jewelry, carvings, hats and canes to sell in his teenage years. A near-death experience in 1978 gave him visions of ancient civilizations, including images of African masks, Egyptian kings, and grand thrones. These motifs echo throughout his subsequent work. Mr. Imaginaton’s installation pieces can be seen adorning The House of Blues in Chicago, Orlando, Las Vegas and Milwaukee, the Millennial Folk Arch at Lehigh University, and the Elliot Donnelly Youth Center in Chicago, to name only a few. His works also continue to be held in the permanent collections of The Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC, The American Visionary Museum in Baltimore, the Museum of American Folk Art in New York, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as other institutions.