Brain Floss & Bobby Puleo

Me: “Where did you get that?” (Looking at a worn photo Bobby holds.)

Bobby: “I found it in a gutter.”

Me: “That’s disgusting.” (Looking at a photograph of a fat, naked man.)

Bobby: “Hey, check this out.” (Digging through his pockets.)

Me: “Damn … “

Reasons unknown as to why the attraction exists-I mean it is “trash” after all. Who would want trash? The world has plenty of trash cans, Dumpsters, and rubbish heaps. Perhaps left discarded in the gutter, this trash’s existence would end up in one of those piles and not become friends with the rest of the world in an entirely new context.

Gleaner: Robert Puleo. One man’s garbage is another man’s god-in this case study, the church of worship said man attends on a daily basis. Bob has compiled thus far a selection of gleanings built over a seven-year stretch of meandering while going about his scattered everyday life. Cultural anthropology or art? OCD? Still trash? A fleeting index of who, what, when, where, how, and why-but if this is art, does it rear from question or statement? When asked one of the million questions that arise, an answer is not given. Not because there isn’t an answer. Bob simply observes it with the same questions as anyone else who is observing one or many of the pieces in this puzzle. Yes, he thinks a lot about what he’s doing.

Don’t embark on a journey anywhere with this guy if there’re other pending engagements penciled into your calendar. He is the captain, and you are the slave. Time will be spent like spare change waiting and waiting for him to eventually catch up after finding the remaining piece of a photograph that has been torn to bits and strewn about the ten-block radius of wherever you happen to be. Bob is going to be en route to his own wedding and will find the mother pearl of all detritus smashed into a million pieces and everything will come to a screeching halt until every last piece is thoroughly searched for.

Bob has a knack for the discarded. Here is a tiny cross-section from his collected habit. Like the Calyer brothers, who stuffed their New York apartment to the hilt with crap they found on the street (until the piles collapsed and killed one of them), Bob is going to have one hell of a museum someday.-Rob Erickson