Monday, June 26, 2006

Saturday 6/17/06

It is the morning of the day that my exhibit opens at the Atlanta Contemporary art Center. I have a number of last minute things to do at the gallery but since I can’t get into the space until 11 AM I choose to visit a few sales on the way there.

Glendale St.- Lake Claire. “Yard Sale”

When I arrived at this smaller sale the seller who worked recognized me from the Candler park market where she worked. Among the stuff scatter in the front yard of an earth tone home built in the 70’s was a blue telephone, women’s clothing, a multicolored bong, plastic stem stemware and several things with smiley faces on them. On the ground was a large plastic device of unknown use labeled a Spine work, a large picture of former Atlanta city official Cathy Wollard and a large deadhead symbol.
I bought nothing.
Clifton Rd. - Candler Park “Yard Sale”

This was a small sale with mostly large item. In the yard were large tools and garden implements several ride able children’s toys including a Harley Davidson tricycle. ON a tarp was a star shaped bright blue electric guitar and on top of a dresser were several leather covered liquor decanters and a child’s car seat. There was also a lingering strong offensive odor at this sale so I did not linger here.

Decanters and baby seat.

Blue guitar in stench filled yard.

Oakdale Ave. – Candler Park “Yard Sale”

There were a lot of books at this sale some of the titles found there included “The Soul of Rumi”, “Final Cut Pro 3 for Dummies”, “The Dancing Girls of Lahore”, “The Russian Debutantes Handbook”, “Ripped and Torn”, “Hiking Trails of North Georgia”. “New Rules of the World” and “The Coming Plague”
In the yard was a pair of bedroom slippers shaped like Homer Simpson’s head, a foot massager and a ceramic pig and cow holding a bowl.
I bought nothing.

Oakdale Ave. Candler Park “Yard Sale”

This sale was in front of a 1960’s apartment building where a studious looking woman watched over a disorderly pile of stuff. Much of the stuff was books among them were “The Stranger”, “Dr. Faustus”, “The Human Zoo”, “Understanding Sexuality”, “Iris Murdoch for Beginners”, “The Subjection of Women”, and “Ethan Frome” More disorder was nearby were a sign from a doctor’s office lay near a pair of crutches, and some coat hangers and the Sex and the City game. A box of cassettes included Captain Beefheart, the soundtrack to Godspell and a tape from her answering machine.
I bought nothing but later wished I had purchased the answering machine tape.
Euclid Terrace - Candler Park “Yard Sales’

There were two sales on opposite side of this street facing one another. The one of the west side had a collection of the late R. A. Miller’s painted metal work for sale as well as some kitchen wares and clothing.
The other sale had some yard art sculptures of gigantic flowers made from hubcaps. Also in the yard in driveway were two bright green modern vinyl chairs, some vases, a few big dried gourds and some clothing. The seller’s child had created some remarkable signs for the sales featuring a likeness of her mother.
I bought one of the signs to put in my show.

Wonderful child created sign.

Green seats.

R. A. Miller's art on a swing.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Saturday 6/10/06

This is a fine morning for sales but I need to be sorting my stuff for the show next week. I have come to the conclusion I have everything I need for the exhibit. Later in the afternoon I will go in pull down signs after the sales are ended for my lobby entry piece for the show. But I head out anyway and find some interesting sales close to home.

McLendon Ave.- Candler Park "Yard Sale"

This was a well-organized sale put together by someone I know so I should perhaps not make judgments about them. The display of goods in front of a two unit apartment building was well organized and laid out. Among the collected clutter was a welder’s jacket and helmet, a selection of books, bamboo poles, clothes, six postal worker uniforms, a medicinal patch to relieve back pain, an old vaporizer, softball trophies and a some shuttlecocks. The host told me the shuttlecocks were used by one of the Olympic badminton teams in the ‘96 games. On one small table was a tambourine, a pair of maracas and a metronome. Among the media were the books “The Millionaire Next Door”, “The Mental Athelete”, “Unconditional Life” and “You Are the Power”. There was also a VHS tape on tying knots. I bought a cassette player to use at my school for a dollar.

Harold Ave. –Lake Claire Multiple yard sales

I didn’t even notice if there were separate signs for these four sales nestled together on the first block of Harold Ave.
Each sale had its own feel. The first I visited was next to a recently demolished home, something that’s gotten quite common on this street as McMansions are now on every block. Here the theme was domesticity. They were heavy on toys and general housewares, the next sale which was the home immediately behind my house had an odd assortment of stuff. There were toys such as a pair of Simpson’s Mr. Smithers dolls in their original packaging. It seemed that while there were toys there were no children. Other stuff in this driveway included a TV of dubious quality where the picture was in a continual state of roll, boxes of promotional items such as a Umpa Lumpa figure from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a pack of card showing our right wing enemies as well as some candles and kitchen ware.
The house down from this had little more than children’s clothing and toys. While the home across the street had a huge amount of big plastic playthings as well as a large fish painted on a mirror.
I bought nothing.
Lakeshore Ave.- Lake Claire "Yard Sale"

This was a small sale close to the street in a very large yard. Here they were divesting every type of sporting equipment available. There were also small animal cages and a few toys.
I bought a set of snow skis for one dollar to place in my art piece.

Austin Ave. - Inman Park “Yard Sale”

This sale was mostly women’s clothes and some toys.
Among the toys were a set of Thing (of the Fantastic Four) feet that were supposed to make stomping sounds when you walked in them. Instead they made crackling static noises. There was an unopened pair of erotic dice of which the seller said were one of six pairs given at her bridal shower. On the curb was a rubber ducky shaped shower mat. In the array of women’s clothes was a game entitled “Hedbanz”. I bought a pink robe with a maribou collar and the thing feet.

Playing headgames.
Hurt St. - Inman Park “Yard Sale”

This was a larger sale crowded into the front yard of a two-story turn of the century manor house. On the curb were a pair of bikes one bedecked with Buddhist prayer flags. On the front steps was an inflatable figure of Munch’s Scream. On the front walk way I found four large boxes filled with books. The seller was offering three free books to anyone attending the sale. In the boxes I saw “Easy Enchantments”, “American Folk Magick”, “Teen Witch”, “Ride a Silver Broomstick”, “The Hidden Meaning of Dreams” and “Witchin’ A Handbook for Teen Witches”

Tables containing all manner of small clutter lined the perimeter of the yard. Upon them I found a set of Titania’s Spell cards for health and happiness, three decks of playing cards, a set of Svengali Magic cards, a small ceramic rabbit wearing a bow tie, a clock with dice for numerals, and a kit for growing ornamental grass. On the ground were a pile of board games including Into the Forest- nature’s food chain game, Scrupples and Quickword. I took three of the free books.

Bike in front of sale

Little animals get eaten by bigger ones in this exiting game.

Kayak leans on cottage.

High end lemonade served on Virgil St.
Virgil St. – Inman Park “Yard Sales”

There were two sales just a few housed apart on this narrow street in Inman Park. The first was on the curb in front of a Victorian cottage. Leaning against the cottage was a kayak and a extension ladder. Aside from these things most of the stuff here was clothing and a few household items. The most outstanding feature was a lemonade stand run by a child offering fresh squeezed lemonade garnished with fresh mint from the sellers garden.
At the second sale was a car hood covered in small horse figurines, a multitude of books and a tarp with a sign saying “adults only”. Behind the tarp was a large selection of bright plastic adult sex toys. The seller asked me not to photograph the toys. Among the many books assembled here I found ”Organizing for the Creative Person”, “The Art of Happiness”, “The Art of Meeting Women”, “My Lesbian Husband”, “The Moon in Your Life”, “The Pursuit of WOW” and “How to Find and Fascinate a Mistress”. I also found a CD for learning to speak Telugu.
I bought nothing.

Horses on the hood.
Warning to unopen minded shoppers.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

June 3, 2006 - The vicious cycle of clutter

Preparing my exhibit in two weeks is destroying my life. The items I have procured to display in the installation now occupy nearly one half of my household living space. My home is in total confusion. Clutter seems to create a cancer that spreads and demands more chaos. I have a shed full of stuff I don’t even dare look at, a bedroom that is unusable and filled with the stench of cheap scented candles shaped like pastries, a boat protrudes from under my deck and my porch is nearly impassable. Yet as the work in progress grows it consumes me and swallows small objects such as car keys. Yet when I look upon it I just think I need more and more. I will be glad when it’s all in the gallery and I can go back to my catch and release style yard sale habits.
Harold Ave. - Lake Claire “Yard Sale”

I had a feeling I had been at this sale before but a lot of the remaining smaller homes on this street look alike. Perhaps that’s why they’ve torn down nearly all of them. In the yard on grass and on tables was a selection of women’s clothes, novelties books and videotapes. Among the more interesting stuff was a candle in the shape of Lenin’s head, make-up from the Manic Panic boutique, a transparent pair of Doc Martin style boots, a plastic cow and one of those ergonomically designed but highly unused computer chairs from the 80’s. Scattered about were a number of graphic novels and dungeon and dragon looking toys. A large suitcase held an assortment of unremarkable VHS tapes including Dogma, K-Pax, Meet Joe Black and the remarkably bad Earth Girls are Easy. In a plastic bin was an assortment of books among them was “ The Big Sleep”, “The Pharmacist’s Mate”, “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” and the “The Art and History of Frames”.
I bought nothing.

Cow in a basket.

See thru boots.

Wax Lenin and bunnies.

Leonardo Ave. -Lake Claire “Yard Sale”

One street over was this very small sale. I realized they had had a sale here not too many months ago when I saw this same pair of praying hand on a table. It seemed as though the hands had never moved.
Palifox Dr. lake Claire “Yard Sale”

This sale was highly advertised all week and I had high expectation for this event. The sale was in the driveway of an attractively redesigned 40’s rambler home that in its expansion had gained a partial rock façade and two cupolas with weather vanes. The sale was presided over by two middle school girls and its contents appeared to be mostly what they had acquired in grade school. Found in the driveway was a massive pile of plush, lots of toys, ‘tween fashion wear and juvenile décor. Media found there included the “Extreme Teen Bible”, “The Everything Diet Book”, popular movies and two videotapes on Mother Teresa. There were also a few adult things around such as a kit for making plaster casts of infant’s extremities, a treadmill and one of those exercise devices that looks like a lawn chair that’s broken in the middle.
I bought the latter as well as a cap that said, “Flirt”

Kit for plaster casting babies.

Pile of unwanted plush.

Contrasting videotapes at Palifox.

Nelms Ave. - Lake Claire “Yard Sale”

This sale was run by an over-active 5th grader. When I approached the site she was on the sidewalk madly waving a large banner in an attempt to attract anyone to this sale. There was not a lot here, a yoyo, a few children’s books, a chair or two, a set of grilling implements, some odd toys. She was also selling lemonade and homemade cookies. But the most remarkable offering was a table that featured shrunken chip bags for ten cents.
I bought nothing but can’t get the bags out of my head.
Oakdale Ave. - Candler Park “Yard Sale”

This sale was on the porch and on the sidewalk in front of a stylish craftsman bungalow. Most of the stuff here was rather boring and staid. A set of Xmas glass wear, some Fighting Gamecocks tumblers, a foot massager, a device used for vacuuming under large appliances, a book entitled portraits of love and six barstools with muted pink seat covers lined up neatly on the sidewalk.
I bought nothing.

Stools arrayed on Oakdale.

Portraits of Love and a wonderwand.
Miller Ave. – Candler Park “Yard sale for a cat’s surgery”

This was a repeat fundraiser for the same cat I had written about two months ago. This sale was in the yard across the street from the original sale. Among the stuff here was clothing, draperies, CD’s, furniture, silk flower arrangements kitchen wear, art works and a puppet of a nun wearing boxing gloves.
I bought two CD’s

Painting of rabbit.

Artwork with a message on Miller Ave.

Candler St. - Candler Park “Yard Sale”

This was a very small and overly tidy sale. In the yard were two stylish metal tables and a set of metal shelves holding some trendy house wears and a copy of “The 80’s game”. I left quickly buying nothing.
Whiteford Ave. Edgewood “Estate Sale”

After wondering the Ormewood park area for some non-existent sales mentioned in Craigslist I came to this event that was the antithesis of the prior sale on Candler.
This sale had been happing since Thursday but there the small frame home was still packed with decrepit delights. The pack-ratish abode was brimming with fanciful clutter ranging from garish knickknacks to religious artwork. Since the home had been rooted through for three days it’s was difficult to tell if the disorder was on the part of the estate owner or the parade of tomb raiders who had ransacked the estate for the past 72 hours. Piles of clothing were strewn about with gospel recordings, hats old photographs and kitchen utensils. Strangely out of place was a box of books on art, an video on the life of Andy Warhol and a mug that said ‘Mean old homo”

Happy mouse on the walls at Whiteford.

Religious icons and playful sheep together.
A large albeit, claustrophobic basement with a low ceiling held the greatest finds. Here I found that the owner for years had worked tirelessly with a glue gun adorning an array of objects large and small with beads, buttons sequins and glitter. Among the treasures were chairs pedestals, cabinets as well as a large faux jewel encrusted parasol. On the floor underneath this glittering display were newspapers from the 1960’s. Other things in the basement were encrusted with dirt and grimes such as old appliances and large fans.
In a garage that appeared on the verge of collapse behind the home was an old Maxima under a tarp with a front license plate that said “Bad to the Bone”.I asked the estate sellers if the encrusted furniture was for sale. He told me “The old woman’s coming back for that stuff”. But he did let me have two smaller items designed by the artist.

Faux jewel encrusted pillar atop 1969 newprint.

Smaller glittery treasures among the chaos.
Signs for today

Yard sale promotion has changed in the past year. The 805 ads in the AJC have been surpassed in their coverage of sale events by the fast rising Craigslist listing. The free Craigslist service makes if practical for the smallest sales to promote their existence. But the downside is that a there are ads posted for many sales that never materialize. On some Thursday night a person in a clutter filled home gets the notion to host a sale, goes online and places the free listing on Craigslist. The following Friday evening instead of staying home that person goes out barhopping, gets home at 2 AM and realizes they have not done a single bit of preparation for the sale. The sale never happens but the ad is still on line directing shoppers down narrow oneway streets in Cabbagetown or some other confusing neighborhood.
But overall Craigslist makes good browsing by itself with its many photos of ugly loveseats and other furnishing. Street signage is by far my favorite means of communication and an art in itself (baring interference by the sign Nazis). But sign creators themselves often say too much about themselves instead of their clutter. Take the case of the recent “Queen goes to Betty Ford” Yard Sale signs found around midtown. It is questionable in this case if the seller actually did have a substance abuse problem and that they were going to the celebrated recovery clinic named in the sign. I appreciate but have issues with signs that say far too much. One I passed this week instructed drivers to do a search on Craigslist to find the sale located several miles away from where the sign was posted. This presumes that there are drivers with laptops and PDAs who are operating motor vehicles with a level of distraction never before considered possible.

Example of profesional yard sale sign design.
This sign indicates "I went to SCAD and now I'm can make fancy yard sale signs"

Good vs bad sign styles. Sign on top tells you what you need to know, lower sign has driver's doing web searching while cruising the streets of Candler Park.