Disturbing Sculptures Art Gallery — It’s a Real Place

Disturbing Sculptures Art Gallery (that’s really the name)
1100 Highway 101
Crescent City, California

Well, if you’re gonna name your art gallery “disturbing,” you’d better deliver. And this Northern California roadside attraction earns its name. One minute you’re cruising north on Highway 101, almost to the Oregon state line and promised nirvana, and the next minute you’ve U-turned so fast your dog yelps.

 

According to a Roadside America article, this gallery is the home of 3 artists, two of whom appear to be quite normal (driftwood sculptures and chainsaw sculptures). But the third, who luckily was not on-site the day I visited, has some issues.

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Outsider Art — Why You Need It

This weekend provides a rare opportunity to peek into an artist’s lair and walk away with a piece of it at a relatively-reasonable price.  This estate sale is at the home studio of Kansas City artist Allan Winkler, who will be in and out during the sale and is happy to sign his art for you.
Mike and Roger Estate Sales, July 26-28, (816) 309-2728

 

Each week I look diligently through the online posts for estate sales — a chance to walk into a stranger’s house and look at all their stupid stuff (it’s the stupid stuff that sticks around for the sales), and snoop around their homes.  It’s fascinating to see what people spend their money on.  And then, on my way home with a car full of someone else’s old junk, a brief moment of self-awareness sometimes kick in when I realize how I’m spending MY money.

But this week something unique caught my eye — a chance to walk into a strange artist’s home and look at all his piled-up art. I think most artists don’t appreciate their talent, so their basements collect piles of cast-aside work. That certainly seems the case with local Kansas City artist Allan Winkler, the talented sculpter, painter, cut-paper artist, cut metal artist, potter, poured glass, collage artist. He’s well-known in art circles for his outsider art.

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Bread and Puppets

The Bread and Puppet Museum, Theater, and Paper-Mache Cathedral
753 Heights Rd
Glover, Vt 05839
802-525-3031

From https://breadandpuppet.org/museum :
The Bread and Puppet Museum is a massive accumulation of the puppets, masks, paintings and graphics of the Bread and Puppet Theater, housed in a 150-year-old barn in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, 25 miles south of the Canadian border. It is one of the largest collections of some of the biggest puppets and masks in the world. It was created in 1974 when Bread and Puppet Theater moved to this former dairy farm after a residency at Goddard College, and before that close to a decade in New York City. The museum is full to the brim; its population density is an expression not only of the accumulations of time but of the urgencies which inspired the making of so much stuff: the poverty of the poor, the arrogance of the war-mongers, the despair of the victims, and maybe even stronger than that, the glory of this whole god-given world. And naturally, all this will decay in due course.

 

The Bread and Puppet Museum is an immersive experience, even when it’s closed. During the winter and spring months the museum is closed, but their website proclaims “…you’re welcome to come in, turn on the lights, and have a look around.”  You just have to turn off the lights when you leave.

obsessivehobbyist.com

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Noah Purifoy Outdoor Desert Art Museum of Assemblage Sculpture in Joshua Tree, California

Photo by Stephanie Roberts, http://ObsessiveHobbyist.com

“Born in Snow Hill, Alabama in 1917, Noah Purifoy lived and worked most of his life in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, California, where he died in 2004. He received an undergraduate degree from Alabama State Teachers College in 1943 and a graduate degree from Atlanta University in 1948. In 1956, just shy of his fortieth birthday, Purifoy received a BFA from Chouinard, now CalArts. His earliest body of sculpture, constructed out of charred debris from the 1965 Watts Rebellion, was the basis for 66 Signs of Neon (1966), a landmark group exhibition on the riots that traveled throughout the country. As a founding director of the Watts Towers Art Center, Purifoy knew the community intimately. His 66 Signs of Neon, in line with the postwar period’s fascination with the street and its objects, constituted a Duchampian approach to the fire-molded alleys of Watts. This strategy profoundly impacted artists then emerging in Los Angeles and beyond, such as David Hammons, John Outterbridge and Senga Nengudi, who all worked with him. For the twenty years that followed the rebellion, Purifoy dedicated himself to the found object, and to using art as a tool for social change. In the late 1980’s after eleven years of public policy work for the California Arts Council, where he initiated programs such as ‘Artists in Social Institutions,’ which brought art into the state prison system, Purifoy moved his practice out to the Mojave desert, where he lived for the last fifteen years of his life creating ten-acres full of large-scale sculpture on the desert floor. Constructed entirely from junked materials, this otherworldly environment is one of California’s great art historical wonders.”  — http://noahpurifoy.com

It’s in the middle of the desert and not easy to find…like any oasis or mirage.  But it’s well worth the effort and, if you’re lucky enough to have the place all to yourself, as I did for a brief time, it’s spiritual, awe-inspiring, whimsical, and an amazing testament to one man’s determination and genius.  I spent almost 4 hours there recently (including the 30 minutes my dog decided to go on a big adventure in the desert), and it passed in the blink of an eye.

MORE magical photos here