Mac Premo is an NYC-based collage artist. He has collected things for decades—things like paper pirate hats, baseball cards, action figures, unused ticket stubs, Whopper coupons and pagers. He collects these pieces of ephemera with the intention of eventually turning them into art.
So what did he do when he needed to move into a smaller studio and didn’t have room for more than 400 of those items? He certainly didn’t throw them away. Premo decided to meticulously photograph, document and write about each individual item. He then went out and bought a 30-yard dumpster and retrofitted it to be a traveling display for his collection. He calls it The Dumpster Project. The objects in Premo’s wandering gallery are carefully grouped into like categories, colors, textures and eras. They are then arranged, hung and displayed on the walls of the trash receptacle. Each item in the collection has a unique story, but it’s when they’re brought together that they begin to weave the story of a life.
The Dumpster Project migrates from place to place on the back of a flatbed truck. Once unloaded, visitors are invited to step inside and explore his creation of a world within a world. I saw it this weekend on Governor’s Island where it’s on display as part of the 5th annual Governor’s Island Art Fair.
If you’re in the NYC area you should check out the Dumpster Project in person. It will be open for one last weekend on Governor’s Island this Saturday and Sunday.