I’ve recently moved and, lucky me, my place is equidistant between two auction houses. Tuesday nights I turn left, and Thursday nights I turn right. Well, sometimes. I often just go for an hour or two. It’s good, free entertainment and I find it pretty fascinating, but also sobering. It’s sad how often peoples’ treasured possessions sell for next to nothing (especially those small collectibles that gather dust). Of course I have my eye out for old magazines, catalogues, and ephemera that I’m hoping no one will notice and I can get for under $5, maybe $10 or even $20 if I really love it. I had my eye on a box of old cheques last Thursday—I figured that the fabulous boxes of old postcards and stamps would be snapped up by some collector and out of my reach (and I was correct)—but the damn thing went for $30. Honestly, what use could they possibly have for a box of old cheques? I think I might have to start accosting people, because I’m pretty sure they’re after a few gems in the box and the rest is junk to them, but gold to me.
The next day however, I did manage to snap up a few old issues of Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, and Mechanix Illustrated from the 1940s and ’50s, which I’ve been having a lot of fun with. The ads are hilarious. I made a series of 8 small collages (about 11.5 cm x 11.5 cm) and tried not to think too hard about anything. I just worked fast and, with the exception of the one with the muscle man in which I used a photo transfer (transfer pen), they’re all fairly geometric.