Mr. Imagination, born Gregory Warmack in 1948, was raised in Chicago by a large religious family. As a child, he made earrings, decorative pins, woodcarvings, and hats that he sold on the street. In 1978, Warmack had a near death experience when he was shot at point blank range while being mugged. He claimed to have had an out of body experience and spiritual vision which led him to make a lifelong commitment to creating regenerative art. About 1980, Warmack began referring to himself as Mr. Imagination to highlight his charismatic artistic alter ego. He believed everyone has imagination and encouraged the use of their imagination. Warmack’s work, mostly sculpture, explores self-identity, immortality, and pride in Black culture. A number of his works are self-portraits and/or include his image within the work. Egyptian, African, and religious symbolism and iconography are present in Warmack’s works. With no formal training, his signature use of sandstone, bottle caps, and other found objects in his creations ushered Mr. Imagination into international success. Warmack died on May 30, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.
African American artists
Found objects (Art)
Permanent Collection, Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum