Bio & History
Pete Glover is an artist, musician, collector, and publisher who lives and works with his wife, Narangkar, in Portland, Oregon. He received is BFA in Film/Video from the California College of Arts and Crafts in 2000.
What began as a part-time job at a junk store in Oakland, California has grown into JUNK PIRATE – an exploration of objects of interest as curated from the thrift store donations, garage sale finds, dumpsters, and sidewalks of the world. In addition to Junk Pirate, Pete has made several fine art print editions, released a heavy rock album (on cassette only), exhibited paintings and drawings, served as co-owner and art director of Rowan Morrison Books, and his film collaboration 23 Short Films has toured the country as part of the Scion Easy 10 series.
Junk Pirate is no mere pile of garbage… it is a carefully hand-picked and meticulously sorted and displayed collection of collections. Look at it this way: One thing is, well, just a thing. Two things of a similar kind makes a juxtaposition. Three things and you’re well on your way to a collection. Three dozen variations of a similar thing and, well, now you’re in Junk Pirate country. Whether it’s game pieces, calculators, scissors, rubber bats, anatomy illustrations, neon water pistols, matchbooks, dice, or bread clips… putting things next to similar, but slightly different, things is enjoyable for all.
Lets take a look at some Junk Pirate history:
One of the earliest photographic documentations of an interesting item from the Junk Store. This ruler/knife (the ol’ “measure and stab”) was uploaded to a simple website on a free server in early 2004 (file sizes and pictures had to be smaller then). That website was the seed of what would eventually grow into the 500+ post blog, Tales from the Junk Store.
Junk Pirate zine debuted in the summer of 2004. 12 pages of found photos, interesting illustrations, other people’s personal ephemera, nostalgic packaging, and other xeroxed crap. All images were culled from items donated to the Junk Store. Less than 20 copies were printed (hastily on the store’s photocopier after work) and distributed to friends and coworkers. Over the next two years, 12 issues would be made with prints runs usually of less than 50 copies each.
Junk Pirate Volume One is a 176-page perfect bound book that features the best images of the first 12 issues of Junk Pirate zine, plus new tidbits. Only a dozen or so copies of the edition of 500 remain unclaimed, so pick up your copy or regret it for the rest of your days.
To celebrate the release of Junk Pirate Volume One (the first book published by Rowan Morrison Books), and to fill a two-week gap in the exhibition schedule at Rowan Morrison Gallery in Oakland, CA, the Junk Pirate Art Exhibition was held in December of 2006. Collections were framed, shelves were built, beer was drank, promotional postcards were hastily photocopied, and a new paradigm of art pricing was created: Roll the Dice For the Price.
Over the next 4 years, more junk was hoarded, boxes were built, zines were published, blogs were posted, and beers were drank. This all culminated in the stupefying event that was The Junk Pirate Found Art Exhibition at Compound Gallery in Oakland in May 2010. Over 150 separate pieces of art was created, along with collectible Junk Pirate dice, T-Shirts, and a new Junk Pirate zine. We rolled dices for prices during the reception and the action was so hot that the power was blown out on the entire block (might have been a coincidence) Junk Pirate fans were left digging the work by candle and cellphone light. More images and info from this stupendous happening can be seen here. Or read the East Bay Express article about it here.
Later in 2010, Junk Pirate got multimedia with a Found Slide Projection at Smokey’s Tangle in Oakland. Hundreds of found slides were rear-projected onto the frosted gallery windows every evening in November of that year… it was a trip and we bugged out to it.
In September 2012, Junk Pirate gave the people what they wanted with Nothing But The Code, a window installation at Book Zoo in Oakland featuring over 100 copies of The Da Vinci Code, easily the most donated Junk Store book. All customers to Book Zoo received a mandatory free copy of The Da Vinci Code with any and all purchases from Book Zoo that week.
Soon thereafter, and continuing onward forever, Junk Pirate has gone digital with regular Instagram posts, an abandoned Tumblr account, and all that other social networking crap.
In 2015, after publishing issue #19 of Junk Pirate zine, Pete Glover relocated Junk Pirate headquarters northward to Portland, OR, in search of bigger heaps of weird stuff.
In October of 2016, Pete made his triumphant return to The Compound Gallery with Junk Pirate III! Nearly 200 pieces of original Junk Pirate goodness, combined with a limited bronze edition, issue #20 of Junk Pirate zine, free prizes, and the rowdiest dice rolling yet.
Pete Glover is presently building boxes and putting things next to other things in his Portland studio. You can currently purchase Junk Pirate cabinets of collection and other products here.