As members of contemporary culture we take pride in being the consummate consumers. But as much as we consume—we also discard: rusted guns, towering decaying letters from once grand buildings now torn down.

Shielding this detritus from the eyes of everyday citizens who pass by in their cars or on foot, junk yards, dumpsters, and abandoned lots covet these treasures. But there is a force uniting these ghosts of abandoned American ephemera which bear a weathered beauty worthy of entry into the most astute art collections on the planet. That force is Los Angeles artist David Buckingham, who roams the most dismal, gritty areas of southern California, searching for tattered materials to tame for his stunning modern creations.

When Imagista founder Michael Williams first met David he was immediately intrigued by Buckingham’s passion, artistic expression, his sense of humor—and his pop art’s unapologetic rawness.

So, last spring, Williams pursued a short documentary of the artist, travelling to Buckingham’s studio in downtown L.A. to observe the artist at work, then to his home in Silver Lake.

Now, in a candid interview, Buckingham reveals his iconoclastic path from New York advertising executive in the glory days of the 1980’s to heroin junkie to humble furniture maker—to the famed purveyor of pop art that he has been reincarnated into today.


Story By : Michael Williams

Writer: Karen Cleveland

Director/Photographer: Michael Williams

Video Editor: Kyle McNair

Photo Editor: Jesse Dreyfus