For a rising self-taught artist and Detroit native, Onzie born Deandre Norman in 1980 has built his mark in the world of carpentry, graduating from Detroit Carpenters Apprenticeship School in 2003 and becoming a carpentry contractor in the field. After a spiritual vision in 2013 he began to draw which lead to experimenting with painting on wood and he discovered carpentry is a form of art, so he started combining art and woodwork an formed a unique craft. Onzie constructs his own canvas out of wood and primarily uses acrylic, enamel, glue, paper, sand and resin to create one of a kind abstract paintings and wall sculptures. Since 2013 Onzie has worked diligently towards building his art career, with three solo shows and over 20 group exhibitions including the Essence Festival, Bombay Artesian Series, Artprize in Grand Rapids, Michigan and one exhibit in New York where he was represented by Agora gallery. Metro Detroit is where you can find his work in multiple galleries, residents and businesses including a commissioned public artwork by the University of Detroit Mercy and recently having a piece inducted into the Mack Alive Ambassador permanent art collection. Onzie's abstract paintings are inspired from kinetic energy and his figurative work is inspired by indigenous culture particularly tribal face paintings and ancient African mask sculptures. Onzie has been influenced by Gerhard Richter, Frank Stella and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
My art takes a journey into the powerful energy of abstraction through shapes, texture and color. My process starts with deciding on what shape canvas I want to construct, and my theme always begins with a color combination. I begin all my paintings on a wood canvas with several layers of paint, while I paint I work out ideas without attempting to control the works destiny; the painting itself takes over, creation starts in the mind which is manifested from a simple thought to a more complex form. "Freedom of expression"