Skip in {{countdown}} secs
Skip now
Posted under: Fine Art Discover

These gorgeous quilts celebrating black life will blow your mind

Her quilts have been exhibited all over — from the Smithsonian Institute to Epcot Center to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

HOLD ONTO YOUR WIGS. Things are about to get real eye-gasmic.

Like this:

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="700"]
Lace, chiffon, silk and cotton. Supernova- a stellar explosion that briefly outshines the entire galaxy #quilts #bisabutler
Lace, chiffon, silk and cotton. Supernova- a stellar explosion that briefly outshines the entire galaxy #quilts #bisabutler
Photo: @bisabutler via Instagram[/caption]

Bisa’s quilts have paid tribute to such icons as Paul Laurence Dunbar, Jackie RobinsonJosephine Baker, Louis Armstrong, Marvin Gaye, Nelson Mandela, President Barack and Michelle Obama and more, such as:

Lauryn Hill

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="700"]
Don't be a hard rock when you really are a gem, baby girl respect is just a minimum 💎, Ms. Lauryn Hill, quilt on display at my exhibit @richardbeaversgallery until March 26th , #laurynhill #richardbeaversgallery photo by @drflyky
Don't be a hard rock when you really are a gem, baby girl respect is just a minimum 💎, Ms. Lauryn Hill, quilt on display at my exhibit @richardbeaversgallery until March 26th , #laurynhill #richardbeaversgallery photo by @drflyky
Photo: @bisabutler via Instagram[/caption]

A gorgeous recreation of Miss Hill’s classic portrait.

Nina Simone

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="702"]
I Put A Spell On You. Because you're mine. Cotton, silk, velvet, and netting. Quilted and appliqué. @richardbeaversgallery until 4/16 #bisabutler
I Put A Spell On You. Because you're mine. Cotton, silk, velvet, and netting. Quilted and appliqué. @richardbeaversgallery until 4/16 #bisabutler
Photo: @bisabutler via Instagram[/caption]

Perhaps inspired by this studio portrait of the singer.

Photo: splendidhabitat.com

Nina at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1968

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="700"]
Mississippi God Damn! My Nina Simone is all ready and off to the gallery for my closing reception, The Long Walk at the Firehouse Gallery( 580 Forest Street, Orange) 6-9 tonight. #bisabutler #ninasimone #quilts #valleyartsdistrict
Mississippi God Damn! My Nina Simone is all ready and off to the gallery for my closing reception, The Long Walk at the Firehouse Gallery( 580 Forest Street, Orange) 6-9 tonight. #bisabutler #ninasimone #quilts #valleyartsdistrict
Photo: @bisabutler via Instagram[/caption]

Lupita Nyong'o

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="700"]
What I did yesterday...Halo, 100% fabric with hand dyed cotton, chiffon, lace and leather #fabricart #quilt
What I did yesterday...Halo, 100% fabric with hand dyed cotton, chiffon, lace and leather #fabricart #quilt
Photo: @bisabutler via Instagram[/caption]

We couldn’t get enough of Lupita’s first Essence spread either.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="700"]
What should I name her? I'm getting ready for my exhibit in Little Rock at the stunning Hearne Fine Art gallery in March.
What should I name her? I'm getting ready for my exhibit in Little Rock at the stunning Hearne Fine Art gallery in March.
Photo: @bisabutler via Instagram[/caption] [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="700"]
My Lupita, I love that girl. Cotton, silk, and netting
My Lupita, I love that girl. Cotton, silk, and netting
Photo: @bisabutler via Instagram[/caption]

Jill Scott

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="700"]
Photo: Bisa Butler Fine Art via Facebook[/caption]

Jilly’s epic Golden cover.

Malcolm X

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="700"]
"Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery" Malcolm X Shabazz, sewn with cotton and netting and on exhibit at Thelma Harris Fine Art in Oakland, CA #malcolmx
"Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery" Malcolm X Shabazz, sewn with cotton and netting and on exhibit at Thelma Harris Fine Art in Oakland, CA #malcolmx
Photo: @bisabutler via Instagram[/caption]

Malcolm X in Life magazine.

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Photo: morrisarts.org

Inspired by this iconic portrait.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="700"]
Jean Michel Basquiat, leather, cotton and vintage denim. Quilted and appliqué @richardbeaversgallery until April 30th #basquiat #brooklynart
Jean Michel Basquiat, leather, cotton and vintage denim. Quilted and appliqué @richardbeaversgallery until April 30th #basquiat #brooklynart
Photo: @bisabutler via Instagram[/caption]

And then there’s this one.

Diana Ross

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="700"]
Portrait of a woman with a head wrap made with the fabrics of head wraps, cotton, silk, and organza quilted and appliqué by #bisabutler #quilts
Portrait of a woman with a head wrap made with the fabrics of head wraps, cotton, silk, and organza quilted and appliqué by #bisabutler #quilts
Photo: @bisabutler via Instagram[/caption]

The Supreme seen green.

Michael K Williams?

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="699"]
Men of honor; Sharecroppers. Recycled denim, burlap, leather, cotton and acrylic paint on cotton
Men of honor; Sharecroppers. Recycled denim, burlap, leather, cotton and acrylic paint on cotton
Photo: @bisabutler via Instagram[/caption]

Ok, not really, but if I were him, I’d write a dope script about this sharecropper, cast myself, shoot it, then feature this amazing piece in the final frame.

Not Beyoncé

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="700"]
A little cotton, lace and a sewing machine can go a long way #quilts #bisabutler
A little cotton, lace and a sewing machine can go a long way #quilts #bisabutler
Photo: @bisabutler via Instagram[/caption]

Or is it?

Not Beyoncé, not Naomi Campbell

Photo: bisabutler.blogspot.com

You might not be able to trust this one with her video phone.

Not Rihanna

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="700"]
AfrOdite, silk, cotton, and netting. Quilted and appliqué
AfrOdite, silk, cotton, and netting. Quilted and appliqué
Photo: @bisabutler via Instagram[/caption]

But also, maybe?

Not Solange

Photo: seesomeworld.com

But you see it, right?

Not Viola Davis

Photo: artsy.net

When you’re waiting on Sam to explain the picture on the dead girl’s phone…

Not Young Jeezy

Photo: bisabutler.blogspot.com

If Jeezy ever journeys to the conscious side of rap, his album cover’s ready for him.

Not Oprah

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="700"]
Legacy- cotton, silk and chiffon . Quilted and appliqué. My mother , my mothers mother, and her mother before that, actually all of my grandmothers ever since we first set foot on this continent were all from New Orleans. This is my tribute to those strong, beautiful, brave women. #matrilineal #neworleans #blackwomen #lemonade
Legacy- cotton, silk and chiffon . Quilted and appliqué. My mother , my mothers mother, and her mother before that, actually all of my grandmothers ever since we first set foot on this continent were all from New Orleans. This is my tribute to those strong, beautiful, brave women. #matrilineal #neworleans #blackwomen #lemonade
Photo: @bisabutler via Instagram[/caption]

Butler’s tribute to her matrilineal New Orleans bloodline is serving just a taste of Miss Sofia.

Not Jennifer Hudson

Photo: bisabutler.blogspot.com

The quilt is accurately titled “She Sangs,” so it might just be her.

Not Fantasia Barrino

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="700"]
Her afro was her halo, 2014.Made of cotton, satin, chiffon and netting.
Her afro was her halo, 2014.Made of cotton, satin, chiffon and netting.
Photo: @bisabutler via Instagram[/caption]

Concert goals: watching Fantasia tear up "Sleeping with the One I Love," kick her shoes off, then unveil a bounteous ‘fro.

Not Indira from EDF 3

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="700"]
Setting up for my show at the Firehouse Gallery with the curators @_evegraves and Raleigh Ceasar, it's going to be a fun night at 580 Forest Street from 6-9, #valleyartsdistrict
Setting up for my show at the Firehouse Gallery with the curators @_evegraves and Raleigh Ceasar, it's going to be a fun night at 580 Forest Street from 6-9, #valleyartsdistrict
Photo: @bisabutler via Instagram[/caption]

Ok, this is 100% Indira from Elite Delta Force 3 (an awesome all-black female sketch comedy group that also featured The Nightly Show’s Robin Thede). Never forget.

Not My Cousin Melanie

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="700"]
My grandmother Violette Hammond #neworleans born and bred, in sheer chiffons and violet flowers, delicate lace and west African wax cottons. #bisabutler #quilts #fiberartist
My grandmother Violette Hammond #neworleans born and bred, in sheer chiffons and violet flowers, delicate lace and west African wax cottons. #bisabutler #quilts #fiberartist
Photo: @bisabutler via Instagram[/caption]

This quilt is a tribute to Bisa’s lovely grandmother, Violette, and somehow looks exactly like my cousin.

Butler’s work is also good for a man-crush or two…

#QuiltBae

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="701"]
Back at it using cashmere tweeds, denim, and African cotton. My #nativeson #bisabutler
Back at it using cashmere tweeds, denim, and African cotton. My #nativeson #bisabutler
Photo: @bisabutler via Instagram[/caption]

Oh, #QuiltBae, take me away from all of this. Let’s run away together and keep each other warm forever.

#SewnBoo

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="702"]
Tonight at the Kings Theatre at the Ms. #laurynhill concert, tomorrow @richardbeaversgallery , #bisabutler quilts are doing Brooklyn until April 30th
Tonight at the Kings Theatre at the Ms. #laurynhill concert, tomorrow @richardbeaversgallery , #bisabutler quilts are doing Brooklyn until April 30th
Photo: @bisabutler via Instagram[/caption]

Instagram: @bisabutler

Why the face, #SewnBoo? #QuiltBae is just my Friday to Sunday, you know you my main!

And so much black beauty…

“Flowers for Faith”

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="702"]
Flowers for Faith, I made this quilt for an exhibit to honor Faith Ringgold when she received a cultural arts award from her alma mater, CCNY. Right now it's hanging at the Newark Academy gallery in Livingston, NJ until the 30th. #faithringgold 🌺🌺🌺
Flowers for Faith, I made this quilt for an exhibit to honor Faith Ringgold when she received a cultural arts award from her alma mater, CCNY. Right now it's hanging at the Newark Academy gallery in Livingston, NJ until the 30th. #faithringgold 🌺🌺🌺
Photo: @bisabutler via Instagram[/caption]

Butler’s tribute to Faith Ringgold, acclaimed quilter, painter and writer/illustrator of the classic children’s book Tar Beach, among others.

“Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine”

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="701"]
Your blues ain't like mine, 2005 Cotton, denim, and wool. His beard has the Declaration of Independence printed on it.
Your blues ain't like mine, 2005 Cotton, denim, and wool. His beard has the Declaration of Independence printed on it.
Photo: @bisabutler via Instagram[/caption]

The details, though: His beard contains the Declaration of Independence.

“The Boss”

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="700"]
The Boss, 2009. Cotton, wool, and burlap, quilted and appliqué. This quilt is in the Kinsey collection which exhibited at the Smithsonian museum of American History.
The Boss, 2009. Cotton, wool, and burlap, quilted and appliqué. This quilt is in the Kinsey collection which exhibited at the Smithsonian museum of American History.
Photo: @bisabutler via Instagram[/caption]

Butler’s empowering re-imagining of Aunt Jemima could not be more perfect.

“Quiltmaker's Garden”

Photo: bisabutler.blogspot.com

The patterns in her face…so much yes.

“Pop Pop and Grandmommy”

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="700"]
Pop Pop and Grandmommy , 2011. This quilt is made of 100% recycled clothing donated by my loved ones. @misschat do you see your old head wrap??! 👵🏾👴🏾
Pop Pop and Grandmommy , 2011. This quilt is made of 100% recycled clothing donated by my loved ones. @misschat do you see your old head wrap??! 👵🏾👴🏾
Photo: @bisabutler via Instagram[/caption]

The clothes, the companionship, the everything.

“ooh’ n awe, Stella by Starlight”

Photo: art-in-the-atrium.blogspot.com

Blindingly gorgeous. Reminder: this is not Kelly Rowland. This is a QUILT.

“Angels Will Sing for You”

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="700"]
Angels Will Sing For You, cotton and silk chiffon, quilted and appliqué and hanging at Hearne Fine Art in Little Rock. I'll be there on Friday! #photooftheday #beautiful #love
Angels Will Sing For You, cotton and silk chiffon, quilted and appliqué and hanging at Hearne Fine Art in Little Rock. I'll be there on Friday! #photooftheday #beautiful #love
Photo: @bisabutler via Instagram[/caption]

THIS. IS. A. QUILT.

“Black Girl Magic”

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="700"]
Black Girl Magic , cotton, satin, and sequins @richardbeaversgallery #blackgirlmagic
Black Girl Magic , cotton, satin, and sequins @richardbeaversgallery #blackgirlmagic
Photo: @bisabutler via Instagram[/caption]

Also? A QUILT.

“Thembi”

Photo: seesomeworld.com

Quilted queen.

“The Princess”

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="701"]
 'The Princess,' 2016, Richard Beavers Gallery
'The Princess,' 2016, Richard Beavers Gallery
Photo: artsy.net[/caption]

Quilted princess.

“Say Her Name (Sandra Bland)”

Sandra Bland
Sandra Bland
Photo: artsy.net

Simply beautiful.

You can find more of Bisa Butler’s amazing work on Instagram, Facebook, and her blog. Do it!


Remember, sharing is caring.


What do you think?