When one thinks of New York City as captured in classic Black & White, images come to mind from Andy Warhol, Weegee, and Diane Arbus. But one such creator of monochromatic metropolitan imagery almost went unnoticed and unrecognized forever. Deep within the recesses of a storage unit in Chicago, Illinois, a man named John Maloof discovered over 100,000 film negatives, newspaper clippings, letters, and more from one Ms. Vivian Maier. Maier a French-American, grew up in both New York City and France before becoming a nanny in her adulthood, raising the children of newsmakers such as Phil Donahue. Maier’s unique worldview wasn’t limited to her photography (she utilized square compositions, harsh contrast, and close-ups), children she raised remember her as being a “a feminist, a socialist, and an excellent, caring nanny who shepherded them on trips into the city to see art films and into the countryside to explore and forage for strawberries.” While the discovery of Vivian Maier’s images is not the first major find of its kind in the world of photo history, it certainly is a landmark for images procured from a storage auction. Had the system for auctioning off storage units not been in place in Chicago, a photographic virtuoso would have gone uncelebrated for good. Maloof and another Maier collector by the name of Jeff Goldstein, own the majority of the photographers assorted works. Maier not only recorded her life in photographs, but also film and voice recordings, amassing some 200 boxes to her name before her entrance into a retirement home. How many numerous photographers never “struck it big” and await their inevitable acknowledgement and entry into the history books of the art world. The hunt is on to locate the next undiscovered Photo master, and you could be the discoverer with constant vigilance and a discerning eye at your next storage auction.
Bizarre stories seldom stop flooding out of Florida and this one is no exception. When one thinks of theFlorida Keys images of sun, sand, and an emerald archipelago come to mind… which is why this tale of a truck driver-looking individual (who rocks a seriously creepy grin in his mugshot) stealing a bag of sex toys from his employer’s storage unit is so jarring. We don’t know what it is about storage units that attract the most bone-headed robbers, but they seem to do everything from locking themselves in the units they’ve broken into to storing their stolen goods at the SAME facility they were taken from. Truly, it may be said that storage facilities bring out the worst in America’s absent-minded crooks. The sex toy thief, Mitchell Tice, was sold out by his own girlfriend.. one Ms. Pshantel Scott. Ms. Scott recalls that before Tice was apprehended by police he had come home and “had place a bag of dildos under their bed.” According to Scott, Tice blatantly admitted to her that the bag of sex toys had come from his employer, and more specifically from his locked trailer. The robber, who perhaps could have earned the name ‘Robin Wood’, also stole two laptops and a wig from his employers storage locker. Tice was inevitably arrested, charged with two misdemeanor counts and one count of felony burglary and is being held at county jail until his $4,000 bond can be paid. The most awkward element of this story is the fact that Tice’s employer and his wife, restaurant owners, were just sitting on a treasure trove of sex toys. Where would they sell these toys? Pleasure Parties? Or were they hoarding them in case of a nuclear fallout? We at RentAStorageLocker only hope that the stolen toys that Tice got away with were brand new and not second-hand. This brings up an interesting question about purchasing storage units or anything second hand… at what point does one man’s trash stay one man’s trash? Or will people find value in any old or used object regardless of how intimately said object was employed previously. Maybe we should just chalk this one up to Florida.