Ten Years of Junk Pirate

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Junk Pirate is celebrating its 10 year anniversary this year! What began as a documentation of the weird, wacky, and otherwise interesting things and images that pass through Pete Glover's hands at his 'day job' – sorting junk at a local thrift store – has grown into a large-scale, ongoing (and never-ending) project. It's a project in collecting, curating and celebrating the quirky and absurd assortment of ephemera, toys, popular culture tidbits, nostalgia, propaganda, and other things of interest. Junk Pirate is no simple phenomenon. It's a carefully picked-through and curated collection of collections. Look at it this way: One thing is, well, just a thing. Two things of a similar kind makes a juxtaposition. Three things and you're well on your way to a collection. Three dozen variations of a thing and, well, now you're in Junk Pirate territory. Whether it's game pieces, dice, scissors, rubber bats, anatomy illustrations, neon water pistols, matchbooks, or bread clips... putting things next to similar, but slightly different, things is enjoyable for all. Lets take a look at some Junk Pirate history:

Junk Pirate measure & stab









One of the earliest photographic documentations of an interesting item from the Junk Store. This ruler/knife (the ol' "measure and stab") was uploaded to a simple website on a free server in early 2004 (file sizes and pictures had to be smaller then). That website was the seed of what would eventually grow into the 500+ post (and counting) blog, Tales from the Junk Store.

Junk Pirate zine #1Junk Pirate zine debuted in the summer of 2004. 12 pages of found photos, interesting illustrations, other people's personal ephemera, nostalgic packaging, and other xeroxed crap. All images culled from items donated to the Junk Store. Less than 20 copies were printed (hastily on the office photocopier after work) and distributed to friends and coworkers. Over the next two years, 12 issues would be made with prints runs usually of less than 50 copies each.

[caption id="attachment_89" align="aligncenter" width="594"]Junk Pirate Volume One the book![/caption] Junk Pirate Volume One is a 176-page perfect bound book that features the best images of the first 12 issues of Junk Pirate zine, plus new tidbits. Only a dozen or so copies of the edition of 500 remain unclaimed, so pick up your copy or regret it for the rest of your days. To celebrate the release of Junk Pirate Volume One (the first book published by Rowan Morrison!), and to fill a two-week gap in the exhibition schedule at Rowan Morrison Gallery, the Junk Pirate Art Exhibition was held in December of 2006.  Collections were framed, shelves were built, beer was drank, and a new paradigm of art pricing was created: Roll the Dice For the Price. Here are a few images from that world-altering show: [caption id="attachment_789" align="aligncenter" width="510"]Junk Pirate - 3 Lukes 3 Lukes![/caption] Junk Pirate 2006 exhibition [caption id="attachment_791" align="aligncenter" width="510"]Junk Pirate 2006 - Miss Scarlets Miss Scarlets[/caption] Junk Pirate 2006 - pharm pens

Over the next 4 years, more junk was hoarded, boxes were built, zines were published, blogs were posted, and beers were drank. This all culminated in the stupefying event that was The Junk Pirate Found Art Exhibition at Compound Gallery in Oakland in May 2010. Over 250 separate pieces of art was created, along with collectible Junk Pirate dice, T-Shirts, and a new Junk Pirate zine.

Here are some pictures from that historic happening:

Junk Pirate 2010 Junk Pirate 2010- game controllers Junk Pirate 2010 - pencil sharpeners Junk Pirate 2010 viewmastersJunk Pirate 2010

If you want to see more images of original Junk Pirate art, check out the JunkPirate.com Found Art Empire and the Junk Pirate Facebook page.

Later in 2010, Junk Pirate got multimedia with a Found Slide Projection at Smokey's Tangle in Oakland. Slides were rear-projected onto the frosted gallery windows every evening in November of that year... it was a trip.

Junk Pirate at Smokeys Tangle

In September 2012, Junk Pirate gave the people what they wanted with Nothing But The Code, a window installation at Book Zoo in Oakland featuring over 100 copies of The Da Vinci Code, easily the most donated Junk Store book of the past 8 years.

Over the past several years, Junk Pirate has gone digital with regular amazing junk posts to Instagram and even more collections on Tumblr. All the while slowly hoarding many, many items for future collection, most of which are stored in jars.

Junk Pirate in jars

Junk Pirate zine has recently awoken from it's long slumber with issue #19. It has all the stuff you know and love, and it's back to basics with a classic 2004 price of just a buck. Available right now from Rowan Morrison Books.

It has been a trash-packed decade of curating collections and collecting curiosities with Pete Glover's Junk Pirate projects. Keep your eyes open for more goodies coming over the next 10 years and beyond.

Pete Glover - Junk PIrate


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