The Display Case

“Put a hat on a shelf (or worse in a box) and no one will notice it. Put that same hat in a display case and suddenly everyone wants to know its story!”

I took this quote directly from a website that specializes in selling display cases for the home. For some strange reason I am having trouble finding the exact link but it does exist somewhere on the internet.

As quirky as it is, I really like this quote. Not because it has great, meaningful depth and will change the way I live my life… well, I guess it could… I like it because it’s true to my collections and my art.

Some of you may know that I have had unhealthy collecting problems. There was a point in time where I seemed to have bought everything that shared air with the 1990’s. I love video games, movies, toys, board-games, and electronics from the 90’s. It is a dream of mine to one day have a basement or large enough room to create a micro video rental store. It would definitely exist to feed my nostalgia monster but it would also serve to display all my cool stuff from the 80s and 90s. Though I do not own anything that is worth butt-loads of money, I do own things that mean a lot to me. For example, the copy of Steven Spielberg’s Hook that I own on VHS is being held together by tape. Is it worth anything? Absolutely not–you could buy it at a thrift store for pennies… But this torn up copy is mine from my childhood and I wouldn’t trade, sell, or throw it away for anything. I remember watching it over and over as a young lad and, to be perfectly honest, I put it on just about every time I’m working in my studio. It’s like a brother to me. My copy of Hook would get its own display case in my special room and be a conversation piece.

As for my art, the display case serves an identical purpose–to emphasize personal value and to protect to objects within. My current series of work consists of found objects (artifacts) that are displayed in vitrines and in glass cases. The items themselves tell a narrative of my creation based in the city of Littlefork in Minnesota during the decade of the 90’s. The vitrines do exactly what the quote promises–I put ordinary objects in a display case and suddenly everyone wants to know its story! Well… I at least hope they do…

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