When I was looking for a square of St. Augustine sod to use in my exhibition earlier this year, I passed by a concrete junkyard. It was a big lot filled with trash concrete of different sizes. Out front, the pieces of concrete were graded into small, medium and large. I made a mental note to come back for some when I figured out how I might be able to use them.
An idea came to me a few weeks later: find some medium size chunks, paint the flat face white, transfer the image of a fairy I found on a free clip art website, then paint the fairy in black. My friend Anna was visiting from Oakland this weekend and she was up for an adventure, so we returned to the concrete junkyard. When we pulled in we weren't sure exactly what to do. There was a big ramp for a large truck to climb, but that didn't seem necessary for two or three chunks. We decided to climb the stairs to the office at the top of the dumping ramp. It was locked. I knocked on the door. The guy was very confused when I told him I only wanted a couple of chunks. He told me they didn't have any, which was clearly a lie since I could see them all around.
So we left laughing and decided to see what we could find around Houston. Turns out, the chunks of concrete are everywhere when you start looking for them. I didn't want to steal anything from anybody, but on the other hand, as Anna pointed out, it's not stealing if you're taking trash. Still, it felt like stealing.