“It was all very peaceful, almost as if I was traveling through history and looking at ancient civilizations,” Mr. Warmack said in the piece. “If you look at my work, it has the feeling of being both ancient and timeless.”
Mr. Warmack’s art is really re-invention, in many ways. He takes castoffs of others -- industrial sandstone, old bottle caps, paintbrushes, wood and cement -- and turns the pieces in to masterful works of art, said friend and fellow artist, Paul Flack, of Smyrna.
“He can take a mop, turn it upside down, spray paint the mop head black, add some shells and somehow create the most beautiful African mask,” Mr. Flack said. “It’s just unbelievable!”
His art has traveled the globe and can be found in the permanent collections of a few well-known places, including: The Smithsonian American Art Museum; the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore; the American Folk Art Museum in New York; and right here in Atlanta at the High Museum of Art. Local pieces done by Mr. Warmack include the 11-foot Coke bottle he decorated for the 1996 Olympics and several pieces on the walls of Hottie Hawgs BBQ, off Bolton Road.
“He was part of our community,” said Brian Fernandez, sales director at the restaurant. “He sold, he gave away, he just wanted people to be happy.”
Mr. Flack, couldn’t put his finger on what made Mr. Warmack’s art so special, but he knew it when he saw it.
“If I could describe it, I’d do it, too," the fellow artist said. “But when you looked at his art, it just made you feel good.”
Mr. Warmack is survived by his mother, Margaret Warmack, of Merced, Calif.; sisters, Cynthia Swopes of San Jose, Calif., and Carolyn Dennis, Valeria Cohen and Sandra Warmack, all of Chicago; and two brothers, Dairao Warmack and Sherman Warmack, both of Chicago.