Sunday, March 30, 2008
The New York Times Magazine has a great piece today by Virginia Heffernan on how the Internet has changed the world for the obsessive collectors, or as I refer to myself, those with collection affliction. sigh.
I don't know if it's museums or seeing a representative body of work or identifying a trend statement in American retail but ... I am afflicted. With collections.
Yeah, you know about the Starbucks mugs; I've told you about them. Some bastard over at Mike's Mugs actually catalogued every mug Starbucks has ever put out, which is like a mondo red flag for people like me. Man, I gotta get back to the mugs and get serious. Serious? you ask. Well, yeah. How can anybody take me serious with only 244 mugs?
Then there's the Hermes scarves. OmiGOD, I love those things. I love to buy them. I love to wear them. I love to take them out and play with them, rearrange all those acid free boxes on my close shelves. I love to go to Paris in January to buy them on sale. My favorite is probably...Couvee d'Hermes, which I have in several colors, but I like the shell pink the best. I just bought five new scarves in Las Vegas; it's The Year of India in Hermes time--of course, I had to get them all! The colors are so gorgeous. My Holy Grail scarf, which in the vernacular of wizened Hermes Scarf Collectors, YES WE HAVE A USER GROUP OVER ON YAHOO , means the scarf that we want, we want, we want, but cannot find, is 'Alpabet'. It a set of 26 vignettes of French country life, with a big block letters of the alphabet identifying each by name. It is a primer in letters, images, living and sensuality. I have been looking for this scarf for five years; to no avail. I remain undaunted and encouraged. I will find one to bring home to Bellemaison. The Chows will dance and do back flips. We will cut up extra turkey hot dogs on that night and gorge, gorge, gorge in our good fortune, the Chows and me. We will overcome. We will twist and knot 'Alpabet' around our necks in this lifetime. Wait and see.
There's the vintage Catholic Parish calendars. I used to see these on the walls of the houses in my old neighborhood and was fascinated by them; didn't know what they were and what they meant. Remember, I'm a convert. I found some of these same type of calendars in a Quonset hut in Worley in the '80s and just started collecting them. I LOVE these things. I have the St. Al's Parish 1929 calendar, with all the Wednesdays and Fridays in Lent represented by a fish.
There's the art collections; two, actually. The regional contemporary art collection, which if I do say so myself, is magic. No, really! It is. Makes me smile even thinking about it. It's magic. I just acquired some lovely VietNamese pieces that are just, well, not describable in the big scheme of things. Then there's the antique botanical print collection, but I have told you about that before, too. It' s lovely, lovely, lovely. Peaceful. Wonderful. With collections inside the collection, like the pine cone prints. Those pine cone prints are fabulous.
Actually, I have another art collection: the most valuable one I own. Done by my children when they were in grade school, this collection hangs in our den on Easter/Alleluia walls and I love it more every day. I love it. Back in the day, Peedy Pupperelli specialized in furious marker art; nobody could put more marker strokes into a picture than The Pup. Jammer did the ubiquitous yet highly convincing self-portraits. When you've seen that tongue sticking out in your direction a dozen different ways, you know it anywhere. Beni Hana's pieces are few, but exceptional. He explores the dark side of his gene pool with ease, persuading you that the Celts might not have been cave people after all. All Beni, all the time.
Then there's the Wedgwood. I thought only grandmothers collected Wedgwood. I went to the factory in Stoke-on-Kent once and despite fierce internal protestations, became quite attached to Wedgwood. But collected it only here and there until I discovered it on eBay. Now it' a whole new ballgame. This stuff make me crazy with joy. I'd rather open up a box with colored Jasperware by Wedgwood than just about anything. In the last month, I've indulged a fettish with the covered boxes; God, they are just cunning. I am looking for the bean-shaped covered box in pink, if you see one. I need it to go with the others. The pentefoil collection is coming along nicely; there should be a black one in the mail to join the others as we peak. Hooray for eBay! Rah! I say!
There's the JMS Early Pottery Collection and the AMH Early Pottery Collection, both in the galleries of our downtown offices. I think a lot of the clients think it's Pre-Columbian art and don't realize The Pup and Jammer had well-known clay careers at The Spokane Art School back in the day but chose instead to go into soccer and Scouting. But I have the evidence of their primal talent. There's the umbrellas; they bore me these days. The birdhouse collection has been in storage for at least 5 years; when we moved out of the lofts downtown I had no place to curate them. sigh. I bet there's other collections in storage, too, things that I have just forgotten about. Just as well, because clearly, they bore me. too.
I have never done a drive by on a flea market; I always stop in. I can blitz two estate sales in the morning and still be at work by 7:45. I can sort 7000 items on an Internet search in seconds flat. I can look straight into the heart of every dealer out there and spot the larceny. It's a gift, this collection affliction, because beauty is all around. The face of God is everywhere as Ignatius would put it and I see him talking to me in just about all things.
The 'Kan EWA