The Stuff of Stuff

Local burlesquer Michelle Baldwin has known a lot of driven people: One guy she knew had only five things in his house for a time; another couple of collectors were finally so freaked by how much stuff they had that they purged it all from their house.

But her friend Andrew Novick is on a level all by himself. “He has the largest collection of anyone I know,” she says, and that’s no joke. You could say that Novick’s collection is a compilation of random things he likes, all mixed up with the stories they evoke, which he also collects. “He has things that no 39-year-old male would be collecting,” Baldwin says, and that might include Barbie dolls, fawn figurines, stuffed animals, dead animals, answering-machine cassettes, JonBenét Ramsey memorabilia, clown paintings, Japanese kawaii, the tickets from every concert he’s ever seen, and countless other objects, so many that they’ve swallowed up his house and overtaken additional storage units.

So when Adam Lerner of the Lab at Belmar invited Baldwin to serve as a guest curator from outside the insular art world, she thought of Novick’s collection of all collections and had the idea to not only put that on display, but to somehow also open up his strange collector’s mind for public perusal. And thus, The Astounding Problem of Andrew Novick was conceived. “I’m trying to find a way to display his conundrum — how he has all this amazing stuff, but he has to dig for three hours, through more amazing stuff, just to find it,” says Baldwin. Novick’s emptied his house for the astounding exhibition, which runs through May 12, when he might (but might not) decide to give some of it away.

We’ll keep ya’ll posted, but for general details, visit or call 303-934-1777.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Jan. 28. Continues through April 25, 2009

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd