Kenosha and Ron Olsen


For the past two years I’ve been traveling (when I can) to dig up any and all thrift, resale shops or flea markets. It’s amazing how hard some of these places are to find and how long they have been in business.
One of these, the Kenosha Flea Market hosts an entire 2nd floor of an ancient warehouse in Kenosha, WI. Right over the border from IL, the flea market has piles upon piles of mostly used, and some new, stuff for sale. On my first visit I met the owners Don and Beth who were both very kind and allowed me to spend hour upon hour returning to the store to photograph (in their words, ‘we don’t care whatcha do’).
The true treasue of a find was a man sitting at a drafting table making drawings. Ron Olsen has been making these drawings since a small child (much to the chagrin of his grade school teachers, if they only could see me now). Every Fri-Sun, Ron makes spends his time at this desk making his drawings of perpetual battlefields. Using figures from cartoons, sci-fi movies, comic books etc, Ron creates a mosaic of amazingly detailed war scenes. All while sitting amongst a menagerie of broken toys, discarded books and an endlessly playing DVD player hooked up to the latest source material for Ron.
I asked Ron to make me one and 4 months later here it is. (detail above). My only suggestion was a war in a Wal Mart parking lot.

Portrait of Ron

Kenosha Flea Market
5535 22nd Ave
Kenosha, WI

2 Comments

  1. Stephan Sturges, Esq
    Posted October 24, 2006 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    That’s fantastic. A truly exceptional encounter with a most bodacious artist. Speaking of which I love your most excellent photography, sir.

  2. Posted October 24, 2006 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Stephen, Thank you so much. Pls. visit me in Chicago sometime.
    -Brian

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