Monday, 16 May 2011


THE SLAB'S MOST INTERESTING CHARACTER DIES OF NATURAL CAUSES. Received word yesterday that this most colorful character died 5/5/11. His story astounds me and I think has something to teach us all. I've gathered from my archives this gallery of pictures--and as I show them will tell you why I am celebrating his life and contribution.
This shot is from a 2009 lecture/tour Charlie gave to a group of about 40. Behind him is the famous insulated container he had shipped from the coast and in which he lived for a long time.

Charlie was lost, in spirit, when he came to the Slabs---attached himself briefly to another Slab artist --but soon decided to stake a claim for himself and make a home here at the "end of the world"

Choosing a most unpromising spot---a one acre pile of trash---he began to build his base. Cleaning up the trash--incorporating much of it into an assortment of folk art pieces. Here's his kitchen in 2009.

A gaggle of visitors on tour through his house.

Two of his art cars.

Slowly he got physically comfortable and began his grand project of building an art museum around his house. This is the Eastern entrance.

In time various friends would donate unusual objects such as the whirlygig and geodesic dome.

He was smart--friendly and well spoken---here conducting a Q&A session.

I think he intended his pagoda as a never-to-be-finished project---forever changing.

I am hard pressed to know what Charlie wished to say to the world--but he had lots of definite ideas.

He was a spectacular accumulator---somehow acquiring this massive array of batteries---which he kept charged with a huge array of solar panels.



He was lost and he came to the Slabs;

Came to the end of the earth.

Lost souls cluster here:

Less lost for being together.

He staked his claim in a pile of trash:

Made art from junk.

Gave name --and even fame

to East Jesus Museum.

Morphed rubbish into spectacle

fashioned whimsey from his mind;

and thousands beat a path to his door.

He did no harm,

He had his say;

He kept his brain alight

in a very dim corner.

Forged an identity

Won respect.

Here's to Charlie:

He found himself in a pile of trash,

and found himself----in a pile of trash.

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