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Monkeys? Sí!

July 27, 2011

No see/hear/speak

This month’s visit to the Long Beach flea market was not fun … except for hanging out with friends, running into Denise from A Growing Obsession blog, and the above, the booty: Three carved soapstone monkeys, two propane tank covers and a sun-shaped plow thing. While deciding how to photograph these new, disparate things, I arrived at this very natural-feeling arrangement. The tank covers fit just right on the left and right monkey’s heads, like fancy red palace guard hats … and the sun shape looked positively regal on the central monkey’s head. I have to admit I bought these items not knowing where, or how, I might use them in the garden … but now I had an idea. I’d make this savvy simian trio the garden’s central focal point!

Industrial monkeys

Replacing the tri-circle-square arrangement on my huge industrial dolly wasn’t an easy one; it had been very popular at the garden tour in April. So, I made the decision to incorporate all of those elements in the new arrangement. I turned the large concrete circles on their sides and placed the cinder blocks inside them, the better to use them as pedestals. The rusted gears that previously moored the circles now provided a transition at the top of each. On each now-hidden cinder block I placed concrete rounds from a local estate sale; these created perfect perches for each monkey, and raised them to a suitable focal point height. For the central monkey I turned the sun-shape around, so that its smooth front faced the viewer. I kept getting a Tony Duquette vibe from the sun-shape, and after some research realized why: it was very reminiscent of a mirror attributed to this amazing Los Angeles design hero (see it here). Mr. Duquette was fearless in his design/color choices, and did not shy away from mixing the high with the low when achieving a look … I’m not equating myself with Duquette, but knowing his work has always been an enormous inspiration. (This book is available now, and a terrific source for learning about Duquette’s work and life.)

Not too serious

All-in-all I’m very pleased with my new garden group. It’s interesting — a little silly — but also well-balanced and proportionately correct. It’s checking off all the Rancho design boxes and is junky, industrial, rustic and fun. Best part: when I showed it to Paul the first time, he laughed out loud. It was a great reaction and, for me, the perfect compliment!

16 Comments leave one →
  1. Vickie Perez permalink
    July 27, 2011 4:49 am

    I totally agree with Paul’s laughter! I love how they go together.

    I’m sorry the trip to Vet’s was so uncomfortable. Nothing worse to be at a swap meet when it’s so hot. To have a hang over also!!! Oh No!!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      July 27, 2011 4:53 am

      Hey, Vickie! The monkeys tickle me, too … the hangover was de rigueur, we like to get happy with our LB friends; it was the heat that was killer! 🙂

  2. Mrs. Monstera permalink
    July 27, 2011 6:06 am

    I LOVE YOUR MONKEYS. That’s all.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      July 27, 2011 12:13 pm

      They’re good, no?

      • Mrs. Monstera permalink
        July 28, 2011 4:42 am

        Better than good. Totally worth getting hangover sunstroke.

      • reubix1 permalink*
        July 28, 2011 5:18 am

        Agreed… now!

  3. Donita Smith permalink
    July 27, 2011 8:02 am

    I covet your monkeys.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      July 27, 2011 12:13 pm

      Thankfully, they’re too heavy to walk away …. 🙂

  4. July 27, 2011 3:30 pm

    Those are the coolest no-evil monkeys I’ve ever seen! I’ve got the Duquette More is More but that new tome looks pretty comprehensive. Amazing how those monkeys animate what had been a purely geometric study before. How do they manage to look both regal and fun? I think you knocked it outta the park with these. Well worth that muggy flea mkt trip.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      July 27, 2011 3:53 pm

      Thanks, Denise … I forgot to add I almost reactivated my double hernia lifting them into the car in the heat, too! … the things I do for junk.

      This Duquette book has some amazing archival pictures I’d not seen before, along with personal photos… altogether, an investment.

  5. Guida Quon permalink
    July 27, 2011 3:37 pm

    Love your new monkeys AND WHAT YOU DID WITH THEM!

  6. July 27, 2011 4:08 pm

    Love the monkeys, and what you did with them. You are AMAZING!

  7. July 29, 2011 3:22 pm

    Just perfect. You have a real gift for putting things together!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      July 29, 2011 4:16 pm

      Thanks, Joey! I think I have a painting you might like. I’ll send you a jpeg …

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