BRYAN DICKERSON, the brains behind @THRIFTSTOREART, curates some of his favourite treasures discovered in charity shops across America and lets More Or Less in on the stories behind these left-behind masterpieces

Photography by David Brandon Geeting Set design by Megan Kiantos

 

Tough Cowboy Monkey, an illustrated photo given to Michael Pace by an old love; the monkey quickly grew on him.

 

“I’m not sure why someone would put an image of a cowboy monkey rolling cigarettes on a wooden plaque, but I’m glad they did. It’s displayed proudly in my home, and I’ll often stare at the image in contemplation, wondering how I can achieve the level of complete badassery that the monkey exudes.”

 

Conway Twitty Ashtray, found by Jessica-Lee VanWinkle at the Salvation Army in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

“I knew that was Conway Twitty right away. I have an affection for Mr Twitty going back to my childhood. I obsessively watched old gameshows on the USA network when I was a kid. They played the same commercials on loop throughout each day and I recited every word to Seabond denture adhesive ads, Kaopectate, the Lotto Line and a Best of Conway Twitty compilation album.”

 

Lookin’ Good Steve!, a painting of a woman found by Adam Leech at an outdoor flea market in Colorado.

“The seller spoke very little English, but was able to tell me he found it in a barn. I was drawn to the piece for its strange balance of the beautiful and the grotesque. It also bothers me endlessly that her shoes do not fit. Why didn’t he just paint them to fit properly?”

 

Greco-Roman Handjob, with the name G Ruggeri, found by Emily Lankes. This small statuette of two naked men wrestling while one grabs the other’s penis was purchased for one dollar.

“I wish I had a cool story, but it was $1 and it’s amazing! I like having weird things I know very few other people have.”

 

The Rat Race Is Over, found by Gina Yates in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Jon Root bought this vibrator at Los Angeles thrift store; he says the transaction was worth it.

“Originally I only photographed this, but so many people enquired about buying it that I went back to get it – but it was gone. Miraculously, it turned up in a different location about a week later, so I bought it. Now it hangs in my store, but it’s not – and will never be – for sale.”

Gina Yates

 

Ceramic Pigs found by Lindsey Emery at a goodwill store in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

“I originally snapped a picture and left it at the thrift store but immediately regretted it. I returned for it the next morning with my 15-year-old son in tow. Got the stink-eye from the cashier. Gave to my best friend Chelsea as a baby-shower gift.”

 

Special thanks to Kate Green