John Abduljaami, (born 1941, Shawnee, OK) renowned self-taught Oakland California wood sculptor; carves found wood, sculpting with axe, chisel, and saw.  He polychromes these with house-paint.  His sculptures are powerful and spirited works, mostly depicting animals and portraits, generally larger than life.  He quit high school to join the navy; as a jet mechanic he was stationed in Japan for two years, and afterwards moved to San Francisco with his family.  John served four years for robbery in the late 1960's, during which he changed his name and joined the nation of Islam.  He is now non-denominational, and believes God will take of everything in the end.  John received a certificate of valor for his heroic rescue of victims in the Loma Prieta earthquake, pulling survivors from the still crumbling Cypress freeway, using his ladders to reach them.  He lost his house which was next to the collapsed structure, which had previously been documented and designated as an art historical site for preservation, by The Smithsonian Institution.  
John Abduljaami
AVAM 2005
"American Self-Taught Art: An Illustrated Analysis of 20th Century Artists and Trends with 1,319 Capsule Biographies" by Florence Laffal and Julius Laffal, 2003.
"Self Taught, Outsider, and Folk Art—A guide to American Artists, Locations and Resources" by Betty-Carol Sellen with Cynthia J. Johnson, 2000.
"20th Century American Folk, Self Taught, and Outsider Art" by Betty-Carol Sellen, Cynthia J. Johnson, Neal-Schuman Publishers, New York, 1993.
Cat and A Ball On A Waterfall: 200 Years of California Folk Painting and Sculpture, by Harvey Jones (Oakland Museum of Art, 1986)
"Museum of American Folk Art Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century American Folk Art and Artists" by Chuck and Jan Rosenak, Abbeville Press, New York, 1990.
"Self-Made Worlds: Visionary Environments" by Roger Manley and Mark Sloan, Aperture, New York, 1997.
Tree of Life: The Inaugural Exhibition of the American Visionary Art Museum by Rebecca Hoffberger, Roger Manley, Colin Wilson (1996)
Living in Balance by Jo Hanson, Patricia Sanders, Susan Leibovitz Steinman, John Abduljaami, Richmond Art Center (California, 1994)
Permanent Collections:

The Oakland Museum, numerous works in permanent collection.

Solo Exhibitions:

2007 – Arts Benicia Gallery, “ZOOLATRY, a curious menagerie”

1994 – Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA

Group Shows:

2007 – Revolving Museum, Lowell, MA, "Race Class Gender" 

2006 – American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, MD, "Race Class Gender"

Tree of Life: The Inaugural Exhibition of the American Visionary Art Museum by Rebecca Hoffberger, Roger Manley, Colin Wilson (1996)

1987 – Museum of Craft and Folk Art, San Francisco, CA, “Contrasts in Wood: John Abduljaami and Harold Pepperell”

1970's – Gallery Paule Anglim
View KQED Spark segment on John Abduljaami. Original air date: July 2006. (Running Time: 5:36) Click here to read Richard Whittakers article, A Visit With John Abduljaami at Interviews With Social Artists, to which you can subscribe.  In this excerpt, Whittaker relates:
"Abduljaami, in the mid-seventies, was included in a figurative sculpture show at Paule Anglim Gallery [San Francisco] along with Bay Area luminaries Robert Arneson and Viola Frey. As Mark related, Thomas Albright, probably the most influential Bay Area critic of that era, was a fan of Abduljaami’s work and wrote about it admiringly in the San Francisco Chronicle."
Richard Whittaker; Apr 2, 2007,
John Abduljaami's YouTube Channel.