Willie Willie is a master with his favorite tool, the plasma torch, which he wields with the grace of a painter and the precision of a surgeon. Willie creates his art from scrap metal which he cuts with the torch and either paints in brilliant colors or allows to weather naturally. He mounts the pieces on scrap wood as framing. He also does some uncut paintings on other materials. He is an excellent scrap salvager. In fact, he has hand-built much of his home by the bayou with reclaimed wood and scavenged building materials. A lifelong resident of Ascension Parish, Willie's imagery reflects his Louisiana surroundings. His work is full of fish, birds, flowers, and faces.
For more than twenty years Willie Lamendola worked in the chemical plants that operate in the area not-so-affectionately known as "Cancer Alley." Working in the plants, he was inspired to use their discarded metal as raw material for his artwork. He says he would bring his creations to show the foreman at work, who would take one look and just shake his head, saying "Willie, Willie..." In time he happily adopted that name when he became a full-time artist.
Serious illness put Willie "on pause" for a while a few years back. Now after recovering from cancer - and recovering from cancer treatment - Willie and his long hair are back with us. He is excited about making art again and he is appreciating life more than ever.
26" x 10"
cut and painted scrap metal mounted on scrap wood
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