In Which I Invent the Word "Larkrative"
Do people collect bottlecaps anymore? I remember that some weirdo kid in my elementary school collected them, then displayed them on a large board with nails driven through each of the bottlecaps. The collector geek in me was horrified that he would destroy the things he collected by nailing them to a board. I'm not ashamed to say that I pitied him. I collected fossils that I carefully picked out of a pile of limestone rock at my school, and kept them in a cigar box until I was tackled by an older kid named Russell. Russell then had an archeological expedition of his own as he picked my scattered fossils out of the gravel, crowing about his great luck finding so many fossils on the ground (as I had an archeological expedition picking the gravel out of my knee). At least I have comfort in the knowledge that Russell wouldn't have tackled the kid who collected the bottlecaps...at least not out of envy for the bottlecaps themselves.
I haven't thought about people who collect bottlecaps for years...not until Molly B. Right's work was brought to my attention. Right is self-taught, and has lived in Charleston, South Carolina since 1969. She makes gigantic portraits of celebrities and reconstructed images of women throughout art history out of...you guessed it. Bottlecaps! Her work manages to balance tongue-in-cheek humor with her obsessive craft. What began as a lark has turned lucrative (larkrative? I've never heard that word before, but it's a frequent by-product of extreme craft). If you're in Asheville, NC this month, check out her work at the Blue Spiral Gallery. If you don't have the good fortune to be in Asheville, you can still check out a segment of "Offbeat America" on HGTV that features her work on January 29th at 6:00 p.m. If you happen to see Molly, warn her to keep an eye out for a now 33-year-old bully named Russell.