All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Friday, March 03, 2006

Some Assemblage Required

The next time you drive by a house in rural Maine with a scrap heap in the yard, don't be too quick to pass judgment. One of the state's many "assemblage artists" might be living there.

A few of them were profiled in a 2004 Portland Press Herald article, including David McLaughlin of Liberty, who in the interest of art had "managed to collect 750 tons of scrap metal and hardware in an abandoned cannery he bought in 1972."
His task is endless. He has so much stuff, he knows there's no possible way he can find a way to use it all. But selling it as scrap is not a solution, either.

"The scale of the work is now presenting a problem," McLaughlin concedes, allowing that if he dies before his work is complete, some poor soul - a niece or other relative, most likely - will have to clean up after him.
Or how about Wally Warren of Ripley, who "despises technology" but has his own website.
Back in 1975, Warren began building his Wall of Refuse, consisting of stuff he brought home from the dump and tacked up on a 100-foot wall. Vinyl LPs. Bed frames. Canoe paddles.

Soon enough, people began bringing him things, which he dressed up with color and added to the ever-expanding wall.
A third like-minded artist featured in the Press Herald story is James Fangbone of Solon, whose interests lie in "articles of religion and idolatry from around the world." Check out "Fang's Altar" on the late Bryce Muir's website.
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