Meet “Elliot”, an enormous red Crate Fan originally constructed in Johannesburg during the 2010 World Cup of Soccer. Two years later, artist Porky Hefer built a second, larger Crate Fan on Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront using 4,200 empty Coca-Cola crates. OK, so coke crates aren’t milk crates but let’s not nitpick.
The coked-up cheerer weighed about 27 tons and carried a special message about the importance of reusing and recycling metal cans and plastic bottles. One would hope those 4,200 crates are reused and recycled once Crate Fan inevitably meets his end.
Designer, teacher, skateboarder, creator of the Milkcrate Digest zine… John Freeborn boasts an idiosyncratic yet impressive resume. He also creates eye-popping examples of milk crate art on occasion – that’s Milkcrate Stage & Joystick, dating from 2007, shown above.
“I Am The Cratest!”
All hail Crate Man, or maybe that should be Crate MEN? In any case (pun unintended), these anthropomorphic milk crate men are likely to appear anywhere (in Australia) creators Sam, Jerome, Ed and Gab can scrounge together enough milk crates and, presumably, wangle a permit from the local authorities.
Let’s Give Them Back
They may be ubiquitous and innocuous on their own, but in the hands of an artist milk crates can project a powerful message. Witness “The Crate Land Grab”, a 2009 conglomeration of 154 black & green milk crates created by Adam Hill, a Koori (east-coast urban Aboriginal) artist and displayed at Blacktown Arts Centre in western Sydney, Australia. “Perhaps it’s just about nicking milk crates,” ponders blogger Ghost Guns, “but I don’t think so.”