Thursday, August 26, 2010

Found Objects: The West Hollywood Years

M Y   A R T — I was reminded today, on another blog, of the found objects I have always accumulated in my lifetime. I can't help it, my father did the same thing. After he retired from the service, he worked in Manhattan and with the two-hour drive, each way, and the fact he drove a pickup truck most of the time, he often came home with unbelievable stuff. Once he came home with a brand new lounge chair, still in the box, which apparently had fallen out the back of the tractor trailer! There was no name on the box for a store, so we kept it. He came home once with a dozen different women's shoes, the left shoes only. Apparently they were used in a window display and then discarded but he found them attractive and gave them to my mother who just looked at him, and without missing a beat told him they weren't her size. They ended up being nailed to the wall in the garage and in his workshop, becoming objets d'artes. I come by my talents the old-fashioned way—I inherited them, lol.

This leather cap was found in the middle of Santa Monica Blvd one night between 4am and 6am. I left a club around 3am in Hollywood, and walked home to my apartment all the way to West Hollywood near the Whisky-a-Go-Go on Sunset Blvd, finding this cap, a pair of pants, a shirt, a dinner jacket, a pair of boots and a box of socks along the way. They were all in different areas of town. Who knows what the story was for any of them? I put each item of clothing on over my 'other' clothes, and by the time I got home I was deliriously happy. And just plain delirious, if truth be told. I still have the dinner jacket and the leather cap, although that was the last time I wore either one of them.

This drawing dates to that period, 1981. The Saran Wrap covering has been on the drawing since new, and I won't ever take it off. That's the best I could do to 'frame' it and protect it at the time, and speaks volumes about my life then. And now.


  1. Casey you never seem to amaze me, a true one of a kind! That story about the shoes and your mom's comment about not her size is priceless and then your dad tacking them up on the wall even better. You were lucky to have such unique parents.

    I wonder what I would have thought back in '87 if I had driven by and seen you in your odd array of picked up clothes, I think the last thought would have been "this guy is going to be my mentor" .

    'pinch myself' just to make sure I'm not dreaming. ;)


  3. So you basically found an entire outfit on your way home. It must be nice to be you. The only clothing I ever found was a pair of men's BVDs and mittens.

  4. Annie, I haven't even started to talk about the interesting times in my life and Marius, I find things all the time. it's almost too odd, and a subject that comes up with most of my friends, as in 'what is UP with him?" because I just find interesting stuff on the ground all the time, lol. it's like something throws things at me.

  5. Casey, you could have donated the left footed shoes to female veterans coming home with a missing right legs.
    Oh boy, time for my

  6. Woody, I burst out laughing at your comment !
    Don't take your pills!
    Why ruin a good thing ?

  7. Didn't Marlon Brando wear a hat like that in "On the Waterfront"? And how far was it from Hollywood to WestHo (as Ross would call it)? From what Ross has said, that's a long, long ways to walk! Especially tipsy!

    If you haven't gotten to the interesting stories yet, Casey, you've gotten me hooked on a lot of uninteresting stuff. LOL


  8. I never drove when I lived in LA (!) but I'd guess it wasn't more than 5 miles from La Brea Ave to where I lived. But I didn't exactly go in a straight line either, following interesting streets, and sights, as I found them. I've always done a ton of walking, so I was used to it, but I remember that people in LA would drive if they were going 2 blocks, lol. Not a lot of walkers out there, at least not 30 years ago!



  10. Casey, love the way you tell a story, so can hardly wait for you to get to the "interesting times" in your life!!
    What a sight that must have been with all the found articles of clothing..

  11. Just struck me, Casey - In 1981, you finished your work with a single piece of Saran Wrap. Now it's dozens of layers of polyurethane. As your work becomes more personal does it need more protection, or is it that your pieces have become more precious to you.

    Does anything there make sense?

  12. very good question. i'm really tired right now—took my first out of state 'trip' in more than 5 years—went to Newport for the day.

    I'd say that as the number of days i have left on this earth dwindle with each season, i feel my work needs to remain as close to the way it is right now as i can make it, and multiple coats of clearcoats might ensure that. of course, i was in no condition back in '81 to think about my own mortality, and i was in no condition to do much more than a sheet of Saran Wrap anyway. I know that fine furniture can last hundreds of years with good care and good finishes, so I try to finish my art in as much the same way. I don't use 'original' finishes such as oil varnishes that you can on wood because of my paper work on top of the wood, but I think today's water-based polyurethanes have a pretty good chance of surviving decades.

    i'm rambling. it sort of blew my mind in many ways to be out in public today and in a massive display of humans that Newport was today. but i had a very interesting personal tour of two Aston Martins, a DB9 and a V8 Vantage roadster and a Lotus Evora with a very accommodating salesman, while my divorced girlfriends bought baubles at a jewelry store.

    more tomorrow. i probably didn't answer your question.... i'm so not used to being out of my house.