Rusty the Auto Parts Man

Submitted by Douglas Wood March 14th, 2010
Certifikitsch Winner

I bought this figure from a homeless man on Hollywood Boulevard who said he made it out of discarded car parts with the generous help of a local mechanic who let him use his welding tools at his car repair shop. He claimed some of his pieces were shown in a West Hollywood art gallery.

8 Responses to “Rusty the Auto Parts Man”

  1. Allee Willis

    Having grown up in a scrap yard (my father owned one in Detroit) and always being obsessed with car parts which I still have boxes and boxes and boxes of and have used on many things I’ve made (starting with 8th photo on I love this. Especially if it was made by a homeless man doing something productive with his time.

    I love reusing things for purposes other than those they were made for. I also love rusted out parts as they seem so soulful.

  2. Douglas Wood

    The scrap yard explains a lot– the scavenger DNA is in your blood. I get mine from my grandfather who apparently used to frequent Maxwell Street every Sunday in Chicago.

    I love your car-parts photos, especially the various chests of drawers with the amazing hardware which are nothing short of stunning.

    • Allee Willis

      Thanks. I used to sell a lot of the chest of drawers and the fender bars in the 80’s. I really got my scrap yard jones attended to during that period of my life. I had just started painting about a year and a half before and used tons of found art in the paintings. For me who gets bored doing the same artistic thing over and over again it was inevitable that it would scale up to larger parts and escape the confines of a canvas. Check out asome of the art I did between 83′ and ’91:

  3. Douglas Wood

    Allee– I checked out the link to your artwork. Too many favorites to mention– I especially love the stuff with found art. Your eye for composition makes this stuff really pop– I’ve seen amateurs attempt this and not succeed. On “Big Deal” you were ahead of your time– there are currently Citicorps TV ads that find “faces” in everyday objects, as you did with that weird tape player device.

  4. windupkitty

    wow, this little guy is so cool! he’s so expressive and soulful! i’m glad to hear that a neighborhood mechanic gave the artist what he needed to create…now that makes my week!