Sunday, May 28, 2006

Marlbrook Ave. - Lake Clair “Moving Sale”

There were actually two sales on Marlbrook nearly side by side. The first was smaller and featured mostly musical instruments an electric guitar, a clarinet and a violin, lots of instruction guides for mastering the instruments as well some tools used for repairing cars, including one of those dollies used to roll around under a car.
I bought nothing.

The other sale two houses down was being held for the sellers were moving to Sri Lanka, a locale not a lot of folks around here relocate to. The principle theme in this yard full of clutter seemed to be play and recreation. Among the sporting goods were skis, a snowboard, tennis rackets, a weight bench, two sleds, roller blades and a bow accompanied by a quiver full of arrows. Showing the down side of such activities the sellers were also divesting themselves f a pair of crutches acquired perhaps after an injury from one of these activities. Piles of children’s playthings littered the yardscape, including a small hill of plush animals, and a pyramid of board games. Among the games were “Where’s Waldo Memory Game”, “Dungeon Dice” and “Twister” Found among a multitude of books stacked on one table were “Peace like a river”, ”Healing with Mind Power”, ”Frogs into Princes”, “Coming Apart”, ”Toxic Parents” and “Money is my Friend”. Crowded in with all this was a table of costume jewelry, several mattresses and a machete.
I bought a xylophone.

Saturday 05/27/06

Crutches that won't be needed in Sri Lanka

Pile of plush

Sharp objects placed together

Fiddle and instruction books
Arizona Ave. – Lake Claire “Land Trust Annual Yard Sale”

While this is more of a community flea market and not a sale that allows one to examine the goods of the sellers on their home turf, this event does let one know that those land trust folks are still maintaining their whole earth countercultural lifestyles. Every year I wander up to this sale at the entrance of this funky urban dreamscape to peruse what many of my earthier neighbors no longer wish to possess. A lot of the stuff this year as in years past always looks like it been kept in a damp basement for 12 years. But a few newer items do creep in. I come for the overall landscape of the clutter here. I was particularly impressed with the arrangement of cast off clothing randomly arranged before of a mountain of wood chips. Other goods were piled in wheelbarrows. Gerry rigged tables made from doors and other building materials held broken lamps, cassette tapes on how to play the penny whistle, old jars of home made apple butter, empty honey containers, feminist literature and disassembled ceiling fans.
When I checked out to buy a large tie died hat the cashier asked me if I wanted to buy a raffle ticket. She directed me to two lads who looks of kindergarten age who were vending tickets for a chance to win a case of beer and dinner at the Flying Biscuit.
I need to go back and see if the ticket I purchased is a winner.

Wheel barrel full of clutter.

Clothes amid wood chips

Headless dummy crowned king of Land Trust?
Leonardo Ave. - Lake Clair "Yard Sale”

This sale in the back yard of a craftsman bungalow did not have a lot of stuff and the back yard itself was much more interesting. Among the few things there were a washer and dryer, a fajita grill, two electronic test kits whose function was unknown, several animal cages and a defibrillator that no longer worked. Near the goods for sale was a bench with a memorial marker for a deceased favorite cat. Arranged in the back yard was an obstacle course set up for the owner’s border collie. While I examined the inoperable defibrillator the owner ran his dog through the course.
I bought the defibrillator.

Memorial to a beloved feline.

Canine preforming stunts for yard sale shoppers.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

5/13/06 Accumulation vs Documentation

I’ve discovered gathering the materials for my show at The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center is negatively affecting my enjoyment of my weekend addiction. Over the last two months I have accumulated nearly two rooms of clutter for this show. Actually having to look for specific items is working against the freedom I have enjoyed since I began this journal. Two years ago I seldom bought anything, didn’t worry about what I encountered or what things were priced. I wondered carefree from sale to sale, taking as much or as little time as I wished. I appreciated the mundane as well as the unique, I took photographs and made notes. Now only a month away from the shows opening I am dragging my self from sale to sale spending cash and hauling piles of junk back to my home. I have lost the use of my guest bedroom, the shed in back of my home is at capacity and today I pushed the situation over the edge. While putting together this show is a challenge, simply documenting my encounters with clutter was far more relaxing.

Fairview Ave. - Druid Hills “Sale of the Century

While we are only six years into this century such hyperbola as this is unwarranted. This was not a very grand sale by any means. The Druid Hills address made one think such a grand sale could be happening here, but when I reached the yard of this two-story brick traditional home I was disappointed to find that this was no one hundred year sale. There was really nothing extraordinary here at all save for some old copies of American Anthropologist magazine and an old mink coat. Among the assorted clutter were a few large super soaker water guns, a Tascam 4 track tape deck, a coffee maker, some plush toys and some old phones.
Some books were on a table and on a shelf, among them were “The Rasputin File”, “Education of a Princess”, “Wishes, lies and Dreams” and “My Petition for More Space”
I bought nothing.
Seminole Ave. - Inman Park “Yard Sale”

This was a repeat of a sale at this same location nearly a year ago. Showing again were the naked legs of a manikin, a pile of old frames, a collection of antique prints and maps and a large sign painted on a sheet spread across the roof advertising the sale. What pulled me towards the sale was the photo they had run in their Craigslist ad of a gigantic plastic playscape. The playscape was in back of the home occupying the entire driveway leading up to their garage. It seems the owner had acquired it when he came across a McDonald’s being bulldozed. I had dreams of using it in my installation since its shear size would dazzle art lovers from far and wide as well as leave little empty space in the gallery. But the owner wanted $400 for this rescued fast food environment, which is far beyond my art budget. Even if the massive plastic form had been a better price I would have needed a semi-truck to haul it away.
Instead I bought a children’s game that involves a simulation of defrosting an Incan mummy and a pillow shaped like a fish.

Manikin legs seen last year

Massive playscape in driveway

Fish shaped pillow
Ashland Ave. – Inman Park “Street Sale”

At the corner of Ashland and Hale were five of six sales lining the street. There was the usual assortment of clutter one finds at these collected smaller sales including old computers, clothing mismatched dinnerware and candles shaped like Waster eggs. At the sale where a woman was selling a footbath and a cloth chicken was a sign saying “ask us about the boat”. The boat it seems was an aluminum johnboat covered by vines in the back yard. The seller said the boat had a leak but her husband had fixed it. But she said they had not yet put the boat back in the water to see if the fix worked. She had hoped to turn the boat into a fishpond but her husband had vetoed that idea. When I went to examine the boat she warned me to be careful because some possums were living in it.
I bought the boat.

Boat in the backyard.

Chicken and foot bath.
Palifox Ave. - Lake Claire “Yard Sale”

After heading home I picked up Cindy and told her to look at a few sales with me so she could help art direct my installation. This sale was a modest affair in the driveway of a brick one-story home. Among the stuff there were three boxes of plush toys, several games based on TV shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I Love Lucy and a small loom. Other things included a set of sheets with orange flames, a kit for building a wooden scale model Venetian gondola, some art books, a bed, some candles shaped like Santa’s head and a Ken dolls missing its hair.
I bought the Ken doll.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Headaches and lost Dalmations 5/6/06

I awoke this morning with a headache from a Cinco De Mayo outing gone bad. Since I had missed last weekend’s sales working with Cindy at the Inman Park Festival I needed today to add to my materials needed for my exhibit in June. Today’s groggy headed quest was made even more difficult as someone had covered nearly every utility pole inside the perimeter with posters for a lost Dalmatian. The notices for the missing spotted canine caused me to make endless wrong turns as I mistook them for yard sale signs. It was not a relaxing morning.
Connecticut Ave. - Lake Claire “Yard Sale”

When I arrived I realized that this was the reprise of a sale at this same location last winter. Then the same clutter was crowded into a screen in porch and the front two rooms of a Victorian bungalow in need of restoration. Now the same stuff was spread out all over the front yard of the same bungalow. Among the things I had seen before was a photograph of a man’s chest and a package of fartless brand chili. The owner’s cat did seem to like this spring event better than the last as he lazed upon tables displaying the artifacts for sale.
I bought nothing.

Used chili mix for sale.

Feline enjoying Spring yard sale.
Winter Ave. - Kirkwood “Yard Sale”

This was advertised in Craigslist as the largest sale in Kirkwood. There must have been no other sales in Kirkwood this day for this was not a large sale by any means. It was not a very interesting sale as well. On one table were a large maglight, a set of poker chips and two coffee makers. On a desk in the middle of the yard were two large TV’s. Some books on the desk included “Fatherhood”, “screw unto others’ and ‘Modern Real Estate Practices”.
Also in the yard were a hamster cage, a big drill press and a doghouse.
In the driveway was a sign indicating that cookies and lemonade were for sale but no child was insight purveying such goods.
I bought nothing.

Screw others then practice real estate.

Dog house for sale in not so large sale in Kirkwood.
Atlanta Ave. - Decatur “Yard Sale”

In the back driveway of this line of condos were two sales side by side. One had a multitude of children’s clothes and toys. The other sale contained a variety of fairly new clutter including a stack of plastic bins, gift-wrap and a ceramic giraffe. A few books included “ Idiots Guide to Bridal Showers” “1000 Places to See Before You Die”.
I bought some toys for my installation.
N. Virginia Ave. - Virginia Highlands “Garage Sale

This was billed as a “do not miss” garage sale. But there was a lot missing here. When I arrived there were just a few things in the yard and nearly nothing in the house. In the yard were a pair of gigantic candles, a filing cabinet, a sofa, a microwave, some pillows and a book on piloting small watercraft. Inside the house was a dining room table a desk and a large painting of a naked man and woman caught in an whirlwind of some sort.
I bought nothing.
Monroe Dr. - Morningside “Yard Sale”

This was in the front yard of a large two story brick traditional home. In the yard was one of those massive brick monoliths that mark the borders of Morningside.
There was a lot of stuff scattered about the yard and most of it was priced very high. On one table in the front was a giant carved wooden carp surrounded by a number of Asian figurines and eight candles shaped like pears. On a tarp I found what appeared to be a voodoo doll with a large booklet of instructions and accompanying packets of herbs and potions, towering above the doll was a large statue of some goddess. One another tar was a copy of “Excuse me your life is waiting”, an inflatable Bozo punching bag, a few plush toys and a pair of lamps. A box on the ground nearby was overflowing with old dress patterns next to it under a tree were two disassembled ceiling fans.
I bought nothing.

Large carved carp

Pear candles in a row

Goddess statue watching over voodoo figure.
Cumberland Circle - Morningside “Yard Sale”

This sale was in back of a large Tudor home in the rear carport. A lot of the stuff here had been picked thought by the time arrived. Among the things remaining were an old computer, an antique print of a dentist pulling a tooth, some Xmas décor, piles of faux melons and foliage, the entire Bible, dramatized on a set of cassettes, some popular fiction hardbacks, a few old telephones and three candles in the shape of rubber ducks.I bought a candle shaped like a duck

Bible on cassette

Duck candles in a row
Euclid Ave. - Candler Park “Yard Sale”

The sign for this sale said “Live Music”. The sale was on the porch of a craftmans bungalow high above the street. When I asked about the music a young girl with dreadlocks and wearing combat boots picked up a banjo and began to play a pleasant melody. On the porch was some women’s clothing, a pair of dumbbells, a print of Rosie the Riveter and some canned goods, votive candles and a book on chronic pain.
I bought a scarf. The music soothed my headache. I never saw the Dalmatian.

Feminist art found on Euclid

Making soothing music for yard saler visitors.

Boots and dumbells

Friday, May 05, 2006

Friday 4/28/06

Densley Dr. - Decatur "Estate Sale"

This Saturday I knew I would be busy helping Cindy with her booth at the Inman Park Festival so I headed directly from work to this sale on the way home. The sale was inside a smallish brick ranch home near Clairmont and N. Decatur. While the owner was not a packrat the home did hold some stuff that depicted an interesting life. Three themes that seemed to be found in every room were art, Indians and the Titanic. As I enter the side door one of the first things to catch my eye was a large wall clock in the shape of a ship’s wheel laid out on the dinning room table. In the center of the wheel was a color print of the ill fated ocean liner. In the living room was a display of the owner created art. The images were simple and naïve with a creative use of color and imagery. But the artist appeared to skimp on his use of paint as in most of the works he had used minimal pigment, perhaps to save on expense. Many of the paintings depicted life in some unknown south pacific locale showing villagers at work. One small painting showed an image of a priest either feeding or blessing a flock of geese. Some still life works included a pleasant floral arrangement and a bottle of sake upon a table. One example of the artist portraiture talents depicted the profile of an old Native American. Animals were depicted on several canvases, one featured a happy poodle and another a determined looking bobcat. Mixed in with the artwork was a large painted board depicting the functions of the human heart. It’s origins may have been a long forgotten science project. Upon a series of tables set up in the same room by the resellers I found ceramic cows, canons and rabbits. Mixed in these things was a planter shaped like a cello, a collection of very tiny bottles and two small plastic cowboy boots that may have been drink cozies.
A line of bookcases separated the living room from the dining area. On the shelves were a multitude of cookbooks and popular fiction from the past 30 years. Mixed in with these were “Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex”, “Come My Beloved” , “More than Petticoats” and “ Daily Splashes of Joy”. Against one wall of the room was a large old mono RCA HiFi in a glossy wooden cabinet.

Poodle caputed on canvas

Bringing faith to the geese

Startled bobcat

South Pacific scene
In one of the smallish bedrooms was an assortment of holiday décor jumbled together. Some small pliable Santas lay tangled next to a pyramid of small plaster skulls on top of an antique dresser. Two other Santas posed in unlikely outfits, one dressed as a matador and the other as a gunslinger. Nearby was some home doll making materials. Cloth doll faces and bits of fabric topped a night table. Copies of the Xavier Robert’s (of Cabbage Patch doll fame) magazine “Little People Pals” were scatter about. The wood frame bed in this room was covered with a large pile of old linens and fabric scraps.

Doll faces

Jumbled holiday mix
In another bedroom was a bed covered in clothing, an eerie looking ceramic goose and some old electronic devices. In a closest were some sequined dresses. The seller told me that the artist owner had also designed and created the evening gowns for his spouse.
The third bedroom appeared to be more of an office. Here I found an oversized garish lamp in the shape of a tree with three owls nested in it. On a desk sat a pair of antelope antlers and a foot tall ceramic figure of a crouching Indian bedecked in war paint. Piled in the middle of the room was a large box of candy molds. Some were shaped like cola bottles other races cars. Sitting on a shelf was a scale model of the Titanic. Another lamp in the same room had a shade shaped like a wigwam. In a corner of the room was a wrinkled satin wedding dress for sale.

Massive owl lamp

Titanic model

Crouching Native American
A sign on the kitchen door directed buyers to visit the basement. But when I entered the small dark cellar there was little on display for sale. The only item of note was yet another painting of a south pacific scene, this one nailed into a brick wall with a large and immovable nail.I bought a selection of clutter to display at my upcoming show at the Contemporary.