I have posted about Will Squier and his every-changing monster collection of kitsch, toys, cut glass and strange things. In 2016, I updated an earlier 2015 post, so this makes this post a third post.
I have seen Will around town, mostly at sales by the Addisons. He sometimes works their sales.
There have been a few changes in Squier’s life.
His Very Good cat Carlisle died. This photo of Carlisle is from our first visit to his apartment four years ago. Carlisle was Very Good.
To mend the hole in the universe, Squier fostered a kitten. That lasted not very long.
Squier describes this photo: “Joy in the face of a new dad with a colorful interesting background.”
The kitten is staying.
She is many names. Some of them are Angel, Eddie (named after Edina Monsoon, the main character in the BBC program Absolutely Fabulous, played by Jennifer Saunders, who is also the creator of the show), Bojangles, (Eleanor) Roosevelt, Cosmo, Kramer, Kado, and The Greatest.
Another big change – Squier isn’t working selling and trading and acquiring stuff.
He is working as a dog walker, pet sitter, house sitter. He has about 15 regulars. He prefers smaller groups than the professional services usually schedule. He prefers off-leash places, like the Albany Bulb or Point Isabelle.
Let me remind you about Squier. After hitching to California from home in Connecticut he observed that the hippie scene which he was seeking was pretty much gone. He went to Cal. Majored in English. Waited tables and indulged his affinity for kitsch and the odd. He found a mentor and went into the antique business, working for 15 years with serious antiques at stores in St. Helena and San Mateo. French furniture, German porcelain, early American. Big pieces. He really got good.
But then came eBay and then came a new generation with new tastes and the serious antique business was dropping off. Following Conrad’s words in Lord Jim, in the destructive element he immersed himself. In his case, the destructive element is kitsch.
His stepping away from the kitsch business does not mean that he doesn’t love his stuff or that he doesn’t engage in creative displays of his stuff. He does.
The dolls that Squier is drawn to have a tendency to be creepy AF, no?
The last two photos are from a space-themed display. Obviously.
Squier has a significant collection of items
John Storey surprises me sometimes. When I see the light that he captured in this photo I marvel. Truly.
Squier knows a lot about cut glass. I don’t.
The chubby boy in a bathing suit comes from the collection of Alan Cohen.
With this one, I can imagine, no – accept, no – believe that the baby is driving the boat of marbles. For real.
These two kids amuse me to no end.
The final photos are of porcelain children’s mugs made in Germany in the first quarter of the 20th century. They were very popular at the time and are stilll highly collectible for the great detailed transfer images and really sweet but not shmaltzy depictions of animated cats, dogs, monkeys, elves, anthropomorphic flowers and vegetables – they are . sometimes odd, mostly charming.
I’ve got one word for this – WOW..
Squier is a Berkeley treasure. He knows his world, the dealers and collectors. He knows his field. He has an incredible eye for kitsch, a knack for finding it, and a great skill at creating assemblages and tableaux that showcase it. It gives him joy and makes him laugh. It gives me joy and makes me laugh. Squier is quirky at its finest.
My friend and his brother got back from the midwest in time to look over this draft post.
They both got very weirded out by the creepy dolls. Their energy bounced off each other in a twin way, taking them into a frightened state of mind.
They decided to watch Dr. Strangelove to ward off the terror. I said I’d like to watch with them but wanted their opinion of my Squier post.