I went to Cambridge NY today to visit Jack Metzger in his Antique Shop and Art Gallery, Out Back Jacks, on Main Street. Jack is one of the artists in From the Everyday to Art, the first show in the Pig Barn Gallery this June. I was going to take a video of Jack talking about his work, but my flip wasn’t working and my ipod was out of juice, so we just visited instead.
I don’t know exactly how long Jack has been collecting and selling antiques, but his shop is one of those places you can spend hours in just looking at everything. Everything is intentionally placed as if it were an art installation.
Then there is his found object sculptures and photographs, which are in the front of his shop. His work is made of all the lost and broken artifacts that no longer have a place or purpose. Jack puts them together, sometimes adding his own elements which he designs and fabricates. He spent months polishing a bed key with an old potholder, not knowing why, just loving the wood. Then one day he know what he wanted to do and created a sculpture using the bedkey, clay marbles, copper shavings and three different metals layered on top of each other to create a base.
I’ve heard that witches will leave a broom in by the front door to keep evil away. I’m not sure if Jack knew that when he created this photo but the autumn leaves, worn brooms and old door speak of domestic magic to me. It’s one of my favorites.
But Jack talks about his work better than I do. Every piece has a story, and every piece of every piece has a story. I’ll be going back to his shop next week, this time I’ll make sure my flip is working.