"I am my own parade."
I met Badger at Ugly Mugs in East Nashville. You may have seen him or have even met him. Ugly Mugs is his hangout spot and many people do enjoy talking to him. And I can see why! He is an open book and is not afraid to tell it as it is.
He caught my eye after seeing him sitting outside creating a wire artifact while smoking his homemade cigarette out of a crazy looking cigarette holder you can see in the photo above.
Born in Wisconsin, a high school graduate, he was kicked out of the army because of his fight for peace not war and in his very own words, "by the end of working in the army, I was saying 'yes sweetheart' instead of 'yes sir'!" He has traveled the USA, making his art, never knowing exactly where he will live, making friends, making enemies (mostly with the government and/or authorities), and has ended up in Nashville where he lives above a half renovated basement which he says is more like a gaping hole that the home above will eventually ca-lapse in to. He has been in jail several times after using government's "waste" such as broken cement and drift wood to make sculptures but also making his home in the New Orleans' "wastelands".
Badger's story was very fascinating! I ended up standing in the cold for maybe an hour and found both of my feet totally frozen. Before I went back inside, I asked him what his dreams were as of right now or goals and this is what he said....
"I would like to build galleries in different cities where artists can perform and/or display their art in; a place where artists can also sleep and be fed and then travel to the next city where they can do it all over again."
I think he is onto something.....
"I like to say I have many personalities which are crazy and out there in and of themselves.....and that is why I call myself Badger. I might even legalize it one day!"