Jackie Mock is an artist who turns everyday ephemera into art objects, and was a founding member of the Greenwich Village Pigeon Club. We couldn’t stop thinking about her piece, Mountain Climber At Summit, which is a Cheeto that looks like a victorious alpinist. So we got in touch with her to talk about it.
Mountain Climber At Summit
So what’s the story behind Mountain Climber At Summit? It’s stuck in our brains.
My work is about things I find and collect from life. It’s about preserving a moment of time with some small object that might usually be overlooked.
I was sitting in a hotel parking lot one night, in the front seat of my car, drinking a bottle of wine with a friend. We were going through a bag of Cheetos and making-up stories about them. That’s where the mountain climber came from. I saved the Cheeto for a while, and eventually made the gold frame for it.
Toilet Paper from Delta Flight 1733 to Salt Lake City
What are some of the other small things you’re actively collecting these days?
I’ve started robbing graves. Chipping off pieces of graves from different characters in American history. I have an ongoing series of work that are these American relics that I travel to seek out. I have a book full of places in America that I want to visit, and whenever I have the time and funds, I go on a road trip.
I’m always looking for the world’s largest something, the world’s smallest church, the world’s most elaborate bathroom. I love bible-themed amusement parks and miniature golf courses. Places that are a little absurd, but that people are genuinely passionate about.
Piece of Traveling Sideshow Mummy Elmer McCurdy’s Headstone, Guthrie Oklahoma
Where can people see your work in person?
I have a show up right now in Wassaic, New York. (Note: It’s called Return to Rattlesnake Mountain, which should really make you want to go!) I paneled a whole room on the top floor with found wood, and then all of my work is cut into the walls. So you have to literally look inside the walls to see every small object.
I do commissions sometimes. I’m talking to this woman who’s a professional tweeter. She and her husband just bought this crazy historic home in Connecticut, and she wants me to go in and build her a museum out of stuff they found in the walls during construction. All these old objects from the 1890s to the 1950s. I get to build a museum inside of a turret, and run wild with it. It should be fun.
Have you found any more divine cheeto images, recently?
I think that was a one-off. But I’m always looking!
You can see more of Jackie Mock’s work online at Reliquarium. Wassaic Project’s Return to Rattlesnake Mountain show, featuring Jackie’s installation, closes on September 2nd. It is a Metro North train ride away from Manhattan.