The work of William Fuller III came to my attention by chance, as seems to happen with so many good things. My wife and I were passing through Trona, California, when she spotted a hand-painted sign. "Hey," she said, "I think there's some art over there."
I’ve learned not to expect much in my travels whenever I run across an art moment, whether it’s at a gallery or private studio. At the same time, I’m always ready to be surprised. And coming across Fuller’s work in Trona did surprise me—no disrepect meant to Trona. The place is a hidden, offbeat work of art in itself. It ought to be in a movie.
Several idiosyncratic sculptures sat scattered around outside a little stucco house on the light-colored desert earth for all to see. My wife and I parked our car and walked over to take a look. Very quickly I went back to the car and pulled out my camera. This was interesting stuff. We took our time looking at one piece and the next, and all was quiet. I'd expected someone to come out of the house at any moment, but no one appeared.
Finally, I went up and knocked. Mr. Fuller appeared and I introduced myself. He was happy to talk. He came out and joined us. Did he mind my taking a few pictures? Not at all. I told him I might want to publish them. That would be okay, too. And here they are. --rw
Richard Whittaker is the founder of works & conversations magazine.
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