Ab The Flagman at work

AB THE FLAGMAN
Born 1964
Lives Atlanta, Georgia

 
Ab is short for "Abstract" a nickname picked up in Middle School. The story, as Ab tells it, began on the first day of school, when an art class turned into a one on one discussion between Ab and his art teacher. Ab had seen a television show on abstract art the night before and wanted more information. After an hour of this, the bell rang, and as the class broke up, "a big redneck" in the back of the class stood up and said, "Are you about ready to go, 'Abstract'?" The name stuck, and while Ab first thought it was an insult, he soon realized that everyone in the school knew who he was. Later "Abstract" was shortened to "Ab" during a construction job, as his fellow workers weren't comfortable with the full name.

Ab's father died when Ab was 7. Since he was a Navy veteran, he was given a military funeral, with a flag draped coffin. That image has stayed with Ab his whole life, and fueled his obsession with flags. His work as a carpenter gave him ample access to scraps of wood, and other leftover pieces of building material, which he began assembling into flags. Ab would take his work and his guitar down to street corners and spend the day playing songs and selling sculptures. Ab's fragmented flags are wonderfully unique pieces of art, beautifully capturing the motion of a flag in the wind.
Ab's earlier works, like these two small flags, are numbered in the style of Howard Finster, a practice Ab gave up after a few years of trying to keep track.

While he's best known for his flags, Ab has grown greatly as an artist since his early days. He still mostly works in his unique style, building 3 dimensional pieces from scraps of wood, metal and anything else he can get his hands on. But the range of his work has expanded, with many pieces celebrating great American icons, or depicting scenes from various locales.
George Washington

Ab's other passion is music, and his band, The X Miss Americas have released several cd's, all of which I can highly recommend (and go see them live if you're in the Atlanta area!). More info on the band can be found here.

Limited edition handmade cover for The X Miss Americas' "Freedom And Justice" cd

 

 

Garland and Minnie Adkins