A Harlem-based artist has created portraits of black icons made entirely out of thumbtacks. The subjects range from political figures, such as President Barack Obama, to musical artists, like Jay-Z. Andre Woolery is a self taught artist, and his portraits are on display at Tribeca’s Frontrunner gallery DNAinfo.com reports:

Using thousands and thousands of the brightly colored pushpins, Woolery, a self-taught artist who lives and works in Harlem, has crafted portraits of black icons ranging from President Barack Obama to Kanye West.

Many of those portraits, which are between two and nine feet tall, are now on display at TriBeCa’s Frontrunner Gallery, in a show aptly titled “Bruised Thumbs.”

While the thumbtack medium is playful and inviting to viewers, Woolery has a serious message in mind.

“I primarily focus on a black experience because I want to [create] balance in the representation of ‘black,’” Woolery wrote on his website.

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