Raymond Coins (American/North Carolina, 1904-1998), "Angel", carved stone, signature incised on reverse, h. 23 1/2 in.. Provenance: Gilley's Gallery, Baton Rouge, LA; Finley Collection. Exh.: "Soul Providers: African-American Art from the Finley Collection Original Paintings & Sculpture by Self-Taught Artists", The Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art, Biloxi, MS, Jan. 11 - Feb. 22, 2002; "Finley Collection", Natchez Museum of African American History and Culture, Natchez, MS, May 2009 - May 2013; "The John and Pam Finley Collection of African and Folk Art", University of Wyoming Art Museum, Laramie, WY, June 8 - Aug. 17, 2013. Note: Raymond Coins was born in 1904 in Stuart, Virginia and moved to North Carolina at the age of seven. Coins dropped out of school by the seventh grade to work on the family farm. He continued to work in farming and the tobacco industry until his retirement in 1976, when he began carving stone into arrowheads and ax heads. These small carvings soon led to a hobby of making figures of animals, people, and religious imagery in stone and wood. Coins’ sculptures strongly resemble primitive tribal carvings, although his inspiration comes from the material itself. He has said: “It comes in my mind what to make. I’ll roll the rock around and see what it makes. It pops in mind. It’s a mystery to me. I am amazed by it.” The sculpture on offer here titled “Angel” is a figure Coins frequently depicted in his work - an example of the heavenly bodies that exist in the stone and trees as revealed through Coins’ carvings.
Ref.: Gilley’s Gallery, “Outsiders Looking in: Memories, Visions, and Fantasies.” 1989.