The red fruit hanging on the wall in the background makes this mannequin look like she’s got some sort of an understated Carmen Miranda thing going on.
I hardly ever even notice mannequins in department or clothing store windows. In that sterile context they seem like nothing more than the plastic people that they really are. But placed in amongst the paraphernalia of a “junque” store they seem more life-like, like they could be a model of a real person with an interesting story to tell.
My wife says gloves are coming back in style. I assume she meant for women, and in other than hand warming situations. If so, there could be a run on these old junk stores. Until they’re discovered by some Wichita fashionista, this pair serves as a good prop for this eclectic ensemble of goodies.
I was driving around in downtown Wichita with my mother earlier this month and she pointed out this big antique/junk store that she had been in recently. She wasn’t impressed and didn’t stay long. She said it was just full of, well, a bunch of junk. So naturally I went back later and spent a couple of hours photographing inside. I liked the random arrangements of unrelated items all over the store, a major exercise in visual free-association; note President and Jackie Kennedy peeking over the shoulder of the mannequin head in this photo, and the Hummel figures seemed to have made off with one of Santa’s boots. There were a number of these mannequins around the store, prompting this series on model citizens.
An abstract pattern formed by a bunch of stacking chairs. I took this photo to entertain myself during a slow attendance day at an art show at the local fairgrounds the day after Thanksgiving. Apparently everyone was standing in line for Black Friday bargains at Walmart or somewhere rather than shopping for art. Maybe we should have opened at 5:00 a.m. with some doorbuster specials.
The sculpture Ayse by Belgin Yucelen. Ayse lives in a plexiglass display box in the Denver airport. According to the Urban Dictionary, Ayse is a Turkish female name meaning “she whom must be obeyed.” Somehow that’s not what I’m getting from this sculpture.
As soon as I post this I’m headed back home to Montana after spending two weeks in Wichita, first attending my father’s funeral and then attending to his affairs and moving my mother into a very nice duplex in the independent living section of a retirement community. Yesterday the last of the household goods she did not move were hauled away from the old house and I put it on the market. There is nothing special about this house, or this story for that matter; it’s repeated every day, everywhere. Except that for me it is special, as your own (perhaps equally unremarkable story) is to you. My parents lived in this house just a few weeks short of 50 years, and I, along with my two brothers and sister, spent most of my youth there. Short of Leave it to Beaver or Father Knows Best, life in this house in the 60s was as quintessentially American as you could get at the time. Today, for better or for worse, the American Dream has moved on I think (or at least fractured into many different dreams compared to 50 years ago). And my family has moved on too, for better or for worse.