The Memphis street artist who goes by the handle Nosy42 can't stop collecting. "I'll go to thrift stores or estate sales ,and I keep gathering junk," he says. "And the more junk I have, the more I think I've got to use this stuff. It's good for making art, I guess," Nosy continues, "but it's not so good for having a clean, organized house."
This compulsion to gather discarded items for possible reuse is what inspired the exhibit "Manic Hoarding," which closes this week at Gasoline on Broad. "I've been doing graffiti and everything that goes along with it for eight or nine years, so I'm always going into abandoned places and exploring parts of the city that nobody else ever sees," Nosy says. "I'd come across all of this stuff — junk, I guess — and it seemed important to me. Exploring those buildings is where I started having these weird, sentimental attachment to things. Now I'm hoarding all this junk. I'm hoarding traffic tickets to use in my art, and I'm hoarding a stack of comic books and a label from an old cigarette tin. All the images I use are pulled out of this junk."
Like other fine artists influenced by graffiti, Nosy42 is especially interested in how images are covered up and layered.
"It's funny to watch people's approach to covering it up," he says. "Sometimes it's a nice, neat little square. Sometimes it's covered up really quickly, and somebody does something else on top. So a big thing about my art is the layering. I'm really inspired by the layering."
Sampling images from American detritus brings a strong pop-art element to Nosy's work. In "Manic Hoarding," one can find images of the character Large Marge from the film Pee Wee's Big Adventure, karate studio logos, wallpaper patterns, Mexican wrestlers, and empty comic book dialogue balloons, all brought together in beautifully layered quilt-like paintings that immediately call to mind work by artists like former Memphis artist Johnny Taylor.
Closing reception for Nosy42's Manic Hoarding, at Gasoline Gallery, 2493 Broad, Friday, July 12th, 5-8 p.m.