Prints and Hard Copies

This weekend we were in Ballard and we stopped in one of those places that sells all the stuff you already own but in a more expensive form.  You know the places that have placemats, but they only come in sets of three and they’re made of alpaca fur or recycled Easter grass.  There are a thousand of these places in LA and probably your city too, located between a clothing store that has only 6 items and a coffee shop.  I’m poking around on the sale shelf and I see this little metal container about the size of an Altoid’s tin with a cardboard sleeve over it.  The design is nice, letter press-esque, old fashioned looking, and it reads “Vintage Erasers.”  I’m so curious.

What is a vintage eraser?  Is it from the olden times?  Were they saved from an old elementary school and repurposed?  What treasure awaits mine eyes inside this hallowed vessel?  So OBVIOUSLY I slip the cardboard off and pop the tin open, and, lo, what do I behold but three, brand new, pink pearl erasers.  Is this some sort of trick?! I’ve been bamboozled!  What sort of monster would repackage an eraser that is still being made and sold NEARLY EVERYWHERE to school children and artists and nearly anyone who uses pencils?  

On each eraser was a little black pennant with words that read “Go All” like some sort of less-than-generic attempt to harken bark to a time when people had pennants.  I don’t know if you’ve ever had one of those inner conversations in a place where you have to talk yourself out of flipping a table or making a scene but that’s what was going on in that moment.  Would you like to know how much they were asking for these rare, bygone fossils of mistake correction?

$18.00

Are there actual pearls in these erasers?  If this situation was a person, you guys would go get coffee and you’d have to explain to Todd that this is why people don’t like him.  You can buy a BOX OF 36 of these same erasers, except name brand, for $7.22.  It boggles the mind.  

My point is that everything is terrible and there’s no reason to leave the house, I guess.  And since you’re holed up there you might as well cover your walls in some of the prints from my new print store.  

Since I’ve moved I’ve been going through a bunch of earlier work, looking at new work, sorting things and trying to make sense of the things we keep as artists.  For instance, I have 5 Nancy Drew books.  Am I going to read them?  No.  What are they for?  Not sure.  Do they have an intended use?  Maybe?  But in all of this organization I’ve come across a bunch of work that I would love to put in a new home.  A few of these are absolute one-offs, printed on cold press or other archival paper, often stained with coffee or tea.  They are departures from my normal work, but I really love them and the idea of making work that can only exist as one thing.  

Other highlights are two framed photos from the ever-popular Mattress Series, some test prints from the darkroom, and then a number of shots from my series about the alluring nature of depression.  As these things move I’ll be cycling in new stuff, so check back in from time to time.  The depression photos are really some of my all-time favorite work and the prints are really well done.  It’s hard to part with them, but I’m happy to find them homes.  

I know you’ve got to go eraser shopping, but cruise through the Print Store on your way out.  Next week I’m selling vintage rulers packaged in tube socks for $75 each.

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