1910 . alabama . usa

2007 . fayette . alabama . usa

Jimmy Lee Sudduth was the son of a farmer in Caines Ridge, near Fayette, Alabama. Child, he surrounded the porch of his parents’ house with dolls carved from wood and drew on the ground or on tree trunks. His talents became slowly recognized in his community, of which he was an active member. He amassed pigments, clay, earth, rocks and plants to create most of his finger paintings on various recycled surfaces (plywood, doors and panels of demolished buildings). He experimented with the adhesion of his pigments by mixing them with different binders, including sugar, soft drinks, or instant coffee. He drew his themes from the world around him — friends and celebrities, architecture, agricultural scenes, machines, flowers, his dog Toto — and very rarely painted religious figures. His work is largely rooted in the African American culture of the rural South. While it is commonly believed that his first paintings were executed exclusively from mud and pigments, engine oil or vegetable juice, in reality they contain large amounts of house paint. With the success and under the influence of the galleries, from 1990s Jimmy Lee Sudduth started to use  commercially sold acrylic paints applied with sponges and brushes on prepared wood panels. He spent his last years in a nursing home in Fayette.