Saturday, January 8, 2011

They're That All Right!

"Weird Rooms" by Alexander Vertigo (photos) and Mal and Sandra Sharpe (text) Pomegranite Artbooks 96 pages No price given, but I paid $1 for it at a library book sale. Well worth it, too.

This is a collection of photos of and interviews with the room owners. Since I am not learned in psychological matters, it's impossible for me to draw a line between "collectors" and "hoarders." Perhaps in this exercise if we specify that hoarders save everything and collectors are more precise in their collections, we can reach some point of agreement. See what you think...

Some have practical reasons for creating. The Monster Room has a collection of horror movie miscellania. An art director for horror films created it for his son. The boy says, "My second favorite is the severed head" and that he and his friends love to gather there and tell ghost stories.

The Shoe Room veers toward the label "art project." The female owner loves shoes (more than 500 pairs) and she created a giant snakeskin shoe" that she said is actually a tricycle. She said, "My boyfriend Ken and I pedaled the snakeskin shoe 4,012 miles across the country." Next up? Taking it across the English Channel - she said it will roll on water.

I did find "The Fruit Room" tasteful and pretty. This is a huge collection of chinaware dedicated to our friends in the fruit world. The owner and his partner have built shelves that line the walls in the room to hold all of their treasures.

The Elvis Room is actually a bedroom; the mattress is neatly lined with print media (books, posters, album sleeves.) Vance Enrique has arranged his front lawn so that it resembles a giant guitar. He said, "A couple of times, a long black limo has parked right out front and somebody has rolled down the window to contemplate the yard. I really believe it's Elvis."

Jayson's Lego City led to a career. As a chld he apparently had unlimited access to Legos and built himself a city (he sleeps at eye level with it - "It makes me feel safe.") Now 21, he majored in Urban Design and plans to get his Masters in this field.

Another is a talented trompe l'oeil painter and it seems natural for him to have practiced, so to speak, on his own home.

But this guy really worries me. He built himself a command module on a space ship. "The walls and cabinets are made out of duct tape -- 4,000 rolls of grey duct tape. I used thousands of pounds of tinfoil. I have 61 televisions and 23 computers in here. One room I call my secondary command center has hundreds of plastic gloves filled with water hanging from the ceiling. This creates microsystems of bacteria. You can see the algae growing inside. Each glove is a space colony. I have six robots to protect me from invaders."

Whoa, Nellie. I don't think that's a collector or a hoarder. The category? Bat shit crazy!

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