Willie Cole – Lawn Jockey Chess

Contemporary American sculptor and visual artist Willie Cole created this huge board with black lawn jockeys for chessmen to turn around a negative stereotype.

“The symbol of the lawn jockey is perceived as negative,” Cole says in an interview for the Tang Museum at Skidmore College in New York, where the work is held. “But in this piece, I’ve turned it into a symbol of power by placing it in the position of power, as a member of a chess team, but also giving it the embellishments of spiritual icons from African traditions.”

The renowned African-American artist created the 32 lawn jockeys of cast-concrete and mixed media, galvanized steel and wood. Each figure is 26 1/4 x 17 1/2 x 10 1/2 in. and the installed size of the work is 32 1/2 x 198 x 198 in.

Read more about the piece in an interview with Cole, here 

See more images of the installation, here

Willie Cole’s website, here

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