For a while, he took to leaving pieces out in public for people to discover. Or not discover. A half-inch-tall carafe of wine on the window ledge of an abandoned storefront in Culver City. A lightbulb the size of a pencil eraser tucked into a crack in a wall at 5942 Washington Blvd. A tiny book in the parking lot of a fancy gallery, behind a gas pipe. He hid these pieces almost two years ago. He checked on them during this visit to L.A. Miraculously, the lightbulb and the book were still in place.
People often compare Araluce to Joseph Cornell, who pioneered assemblage sculpture in the early 20th century. Of Cornell, Araluce says, with an embarrassed shrug, "I have poetry in my work. He's a poet."
Modesty aside, he hopes the "hoity-toities" will keep buying his art, and that the prestigious grants will keep trickling in. This is because he plans to add a motion component: little clocks with little hands to tick out the hours. He craves little spinning fans to circulate the stale air inside the boxes, and tiny working televisions, and teeny telephones with mysterious voices emanating from their receivers. Tiny video cameras scanning a tiny scene are not beyond reason.