Friday, March 26, 2010

Collections 4: Architecture, Airplanes and Insight

Looking around my studio lately, I've noticed that we have three of a lot of things. Possibly because we'd half-heartedly start a collection, then get distracted and just abandon it at three. Or, in the case of the following two sets of items, we'd come to our senses quickly and realize that collections of large items would consume far too much space.

First, today, we have three architectural structures: a log cabin, a two-car  garage, and a church made of matchsticks.

 I would classify all of these as primitives. I purchased the log cabin at the Jazz Fest in New Orleans back in the 80s when we were there participating in a craft fair. I've forgotten who the artisan was, but at the time the person was apparently well known around those parts for making these log cabins.

We found the home made two-car garage in a garage sale, and we just liked the primitive quality of it.

The church, made entirely from matchsticks glued together, was sold to us at a  house sale by someone who said that it was an example of prison art. While it is true that this was a craft popular in prisons for a while,  it was also a technique used in some tramp art. Making matchstick structures may have also been a popular Boy Scout activity at one time. Regardless of it's origin, it is just impressive that someone would have the patience and time to make this sort of thing.

All three of these were housed, as it were, in my family room for years. But when we downsized, we had to move them to the studio, and after I do a little conservation work on some of them, they will be off to the mall and hopefully to new homes.

As we move into the next room and look upwards, we see the next collection of three. Airplanes (and a fugitive windsock from the California Raisins series) hanging from the ceiling in the center of our studio. I do not actually remember when or why we acquired these bi-planes, or where they came from. We hung one up, and each was added in turn as we happened on them.

The crowning touch to this collection came one day when, in a moment of pure inspiration, we added the two wooden mannequins to one of the planes, and it instantly transitioned from being a random collection to becoming a commentary expressing exactly how we feel about our crazy precarious lives as artists and collectors...
...always just barely hanging on for dear life.

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