Arts Devo

More weird art is good

Previous Next

More art for me, please Arts DEVO has been back to the office only one day since taking a week-long break, and I am already daydreaming, filling my head with images from my carefree time away from the keyboard. My break started in San Francisco, under blue skies and with a cool breeze on my face as Mrs. DEVO, Honey Dog and I browsed the streets of Chinatown and its bargain fireworks, freshly butchered chickens and jars of exotic culinary delicacies (dried sea cucumbers, only $800 a pound!). And it ended on the scorched streets of Chico, tooling around in my dusty Volvo wagon, arm out the open window, nodding approvingly along with my brand-new cassette from local schizo-metal-punk trio Tri-Lateral Dirts Commission (Kurmudgeon Ghetto EP, Xerox Records) as I toured our fine local pawn shops and all the used musical gear therein.

I didn't find anything in Chico's shops, but Mrs. DEVO and I did pick up new piece of art while in The City, a little statue of a Catholic saint (St. Martin de Porres?) for only $15. The piece had been part of the personal collection of Bill Haskell—the owner of Aria Antiques in North Beach—until its little head busted off and had to be glued back on (which is why we got it so cheap). We'd visited Haskell's weird and musty little curio shop once before and fell in love with its wide range of oddities from America and Europe—everything from old printers' wood-block letters and anatomy models to creepy shrines and creepier weathered puppets. In fact, I regret leaving a couple of items behind, so in an effort to potentially fill the need for something strange and/or unique for the home I turned to the Internet and actually found some local (or locally themed) possibilities:

Elliott, elephant-man (Etsy, Chico), $145: There are a lot of beautifully made felt creations on Jessica Alcantar's Etsy page (BoysDroolGirlsWool), but I really dig the bizarre creatures of her “anthropomorphic series,” especially this 15-inch-tall part-elephant/part-gnome-man that definitely wants to stand guard over my yard.

Century-old leather postcards from Chico (Ebay, $8.99-$9.99): I was stoked to find a ton of cool, vintage Chico postcards (of the Hooker Oak, Bidwell Park, Richardson Springs, etc.) for sale cheap on eBay (starting at 99 cents), but I was perplexed by a collection of leather postcards from 1906 being offered by a seller named “vegestar.” The cards have “Chico, Cal.” and goofy cartoons stamped on them with bizarre captions—one with a woman talking on the phone to a jackass reads: “Hello Jack is that you?” Another, of an old woman in a dress sinking into a body of water puns: “Drop me a line quickly.”

Framed needlepoint clown (Craigslist, Paradise), $75: If I'm going to let a clown into my house, I'm not going to spend this much. But it is needlepoint, it is framed and it is a decent enough size (15-by-20-inch; 28-by-32 with frame) to send fear deep into the heart (and out of the trousers) of the unprepared. I might buy it for my boss.