Who said that? Oh yeah, my father. I grew up with a great Aunt who had two houses filled to the brim with clutter. She had some sort of OCD that fragmented into a lifelong addiction to purchasing things she never revisted back at the homestead. She had trails of bags and things that lined the walls and often up to the ceilings. She had a bathtub full of mail dating to the 1970's, some perhaps earlier. She never liked giving me gifts at Xmas. Once while giving me a small music box she actually pulled it back in her hands and said "OHHH, it's so so hard getting rid of this."
She never married. My grandfather (her brother) always said that it was because his strict Italian parents babied her and never thought any suitor was good enough. She once came close, only to have her mother shut down the whole affair. Later when we were kids, she would come to holiday dinners decked out in hot fuscia lipstick and drag you in for a long kiss on the mouth. It didn't help that her heaving large chest put you in a choke hold (holding your breath despite the abundance of perfume was the only saving power). I mention good ol' Aunt Elsie, because my father always feared that I too had this gene. They say when she died in the late 90's it took 4 industrial sized dumpsters to empty it completely.
What!? I am picky about the stuff I save. Sure I've been known to stop my car to grab an old high back chair or a giant book on PICASSO, but surely I don't save towers of empty paper towel rolls.
I overheard this amazing story at my birthday party and had to share. A NYC woman was on her way to work and passed a dumpster with a large abstract painting in a cheap frame. She said it was enormous and contemplated leaving it, but she felt she simply had to have the 38-by-51-inch painting, because “it had a strange power.”
Art experts would agree with her. As it turns out, the painting was “Three People,” a 1970 canvas by the celebrated 20th-century Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo that was stolen 20 years ago and is the subject of an F.B.I. investigation.
Experts say the painting — a largely abstract depiction of a man, a woman and an androgynous figure in vibrant purples, oranges and yellows — is in miraculously good condition and worth about $1 million. On Nov. 20 it is to go on the block at Sotheby’s as one of the highlights of a Latin American art auction.
Ms. Gibson said she did not suspect that the painting had any commercial value when she found it. “I am not a modern-art aficionado,” she said. “It was so overpowering, yet it had a cheap frame.”
She started investigating it, and went and asked people at the building where it was found.
“No one remembered anything,” she said. “All they said was that 20 minutes after I took it, the garbage truck arrived. This was truly an appointment with destiny.”
It took three years for her to realize that she possessed a stolen painting.
She researched the stickers on the back from various museums and eventually was told it indeed was a valuable work of art and was given the reward money of $15,000. I'm told she will also receive a percentage of the final selling cost when it goes up for auction at Sothebys. Some estimate that it could go for a million!? (exerpts from New York Times article by Carol Vogel)