Seeger's small but vocal cult following mentions him frequently in blogs, and hefty price tags are attached to the now-collectible pieces of Seeger sculpture and furniture that pop up online.

Perhaps even more telling is the recirculation of Seeger "thoughts," quoted by a new, metaphysically ravenous generation of truth-seekers. Utterings like "To be average scares the hell out of me" and "His search for answers was so involved, his mind turned into a question mark" are quoted on Facebook and personal blogs, a testament to Seeger's philosophical staying power.


A beast-headed man greets visitors to
Seeger's great room.
Jamie Peachey
A beast-headed man greets visitors to Seeger's great room.
Assorted oddities hang from the
ceiling of the "ethnic room."
Jamie Peachey
Assorted oddities hang from the ceiling of the "ethnic room."

Ever the restless mind, in the '80s, Dick Seeger came up with a lucrative concept that made him enough money to buy the large Scottsdale house that today seconds as his personal museum.

In 1982, he patented SeegerPeople, an idea for three-dimensional photo sculptures featuring photographs mounted on stiff backing that were then carefully cut out by hand with a band saw — another tool in Seeger's arsenal of woodworking implements.

Pushed as a fun photo experience, Seeger's wacky cut-out photo constructions were inspired by a person or family's personality and hobbies, or a life event that just had to be commemorated, like pregnancy (before and after photos were often set side by side), birthdays, marriage and other experiences people felt compelled to memorialize. The artist was both photographic director, getting otherwise sensible people to do goofy things, and designer of the finished constructions, which often used completely fabricated or painted landscapes as backdrops.

Through the '80s, it was almost a rite of passage in the Valley to have a sitting at SeegerPeople, which the artist franchised worldwide until 1995. At one point, SeegerPeople thrived in Maui and Lausanne, Switzerland, and the opening of Newport Beach's Fashion Island franchise was big news in the L.A. Times in 1988. Several SeegerPeople studios are still going strong, one in the St. Louis area and one in Michigan.

The 1980s also brought the end of Seeger's 31-year marriage to Helen, but not before Seeger was subjected to what he calls "an unrequested attempted exorcism" by his wife's minister, who "tried to get the devil out of him." Spiritual, but not religious, Seeger found his wife's beliefs too much to handle — "apparently they didn't get the devil out of me; I still have it" — and divorce followed.

It wasn't long before he met Betty Helman, a much younger artist who worked at SeegerPeople and became his second spouse when she was 32, the same age as one of her new stepchildren. Though that marriage ended, Betty still regularly works for Seeger as an artist and they remain good friends to this day.


Leap to the current millennium. You'll find Dick Seeger has "retired," at least from any commercial enterprise. He bought and moved into his current house in a matter of two days in 2004 using six trucks and 13 moving men. Over an 18-month period, he built that 30-foot-high dirt pyramid with a front door opening onto more dirt, using a small tractor, a hand shovel and several strong backs ("I dig dirt," he quips), not to mention the 110-foot-long Mother Spiritual Earth dirt sculpture, surrounding moat and adjacent conversation area he says will hold 25 people.

On any given day — since he seems to move everything around, both inside and out, on a daily basis — there might be a life-size antique Indian brass horse standing guard over the pyramid amid a group of giant yucca stems stuck in the ground, or a replica Egyptian mummy case.

Or a reproduction terra cotta Xi'an warrior crafted after one of the 8,000 figures excavated from the burial site of a Chinese emperor dating to the third century B.C.

Seeger still is voraciously making his own art and collecting the art of world cultures during his world travels. He says his collecting ethnic art began full-bore when he was ushered into a Glendale warehouse stuffed with African artifacts.

"Something happened to me there," he says. "Sometimes, when I'm walking around this house, and I do walk around this house a lot, an ethnic object will feel like energy is coming from it."

Sometimes, his travels in search of things to collect are not without incident. One of those occurred when he and Betty were in Kashmir, India, on September 11, 2001.

"A friend of mine locally had family in Kashmir, and we were a guest in the family compound. It happened that the day before 9/11, their chauffeur killed the neighbor's son accidentally. The neighbor was of a different tribe and so my host said, 'You've got to get out of here right now,'" Seeger recalls.

That's how he and Betty found themselves spirited onto a flight to Bangkok, unable to get back into the United States because all air traffic had been suspended. But that didn't stop him from bringing home a huge load of Indian art he's now ensconced in his Magical Mystery Spiritual Experience.

When asked directly, Dick Seeger admits that he is obsessive compulsive, which explains his unending rearranging, unstoppable creating and collecting, and eternal striving for perfection.

"I can't stand chaos," he says with a shrug. "If it were not correct, then my head would not be correct."

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5 comments
Suzerina
Suzerina

Just savored the Seeger piece. I came to Scottsdale in 1965, married to Dick whose family had arrived in 1952...Always fascinated by the Old Scottsdale arts and culture scene and eventually a proud owner of Seegerpeople. images of my girls.Thank you for this treasure....and I need to get into that houseSuz.....

Roseann
Roseann

How can one fellow artist to another get to see this, Magical Mystery Spiritual Home, I'm feeling very "Beatles" right now....

Basti Auser
Basti Auser

YES , WE CAN...YES , WE CAN...WE WILL WIN IN WAR ON TERROR (30 whities or what are terrorists will never come back alive...thank you lord....aaamen).

What do you mean tragedy! It was just a birthday present for planet apes president !!! That's all ! Feels great to flip hamburgers and hip hop atop of good news...makes you feel vibrant and energized !!!

ARIZONA = UTOYA = GOVERNMENT‘S "AFTERLIFE" CASH & $$ FLASH MOB (there was no shooting in Utoya or Arizona, but tear gas and theater instead on faces of multiculturalism maniacs..your guilt or blame and shame weapon against us and our families in our own countries atop of forceful unemployment during so called "ECONOMIC CRISES" during which third world foreigners are allowed to rape, kill, and still is nothing else but fast way to early retirements for government related criminals/ terrorists...$$$ extra bonuses, and newly issued state identities while calling you a terrorists) !!! http://stateofterror.blogspot.... or http://stateofterror.wordpress...

OBAMA = STALIN = BUSH or USA = SOVIET UNION http://avsecbostjan.blogspot.c... or http://avsecbostjan.wordpress.... Whitie is fighting war on terrorism just to come home and be pronounced as terrorist...turned in Timothy, jobless, homeless ...YESSS, WE CAN...YESSS, WE CAN...GABBY OPENED HER EYES (Obaminator’s psychotic speech in Tucson = failed “Apocalypse Now“)

WAKE-UP !!! WAKE UP PEOPLE BEFORE IT GETS ALL TO LATE ON PLANET APES !!! TEARS WON'T DO YOU ANY GOOD !!! AS BUSH STATED "THAT'S WHAT THEY ARE PAID FOR"(to die ) !!

EVEN IF IRAQ WOULD HAVE BEEN WAR FOR OIL ONLY, VETERANS WOULDN'T NEVER EVER HAVE TO BE HOMELESS PEOPLE THE WAY THEY ARE AND NOR WOULD OUR PEOPLE HAVE TO DIE ALLOVER THE PLACE THE WAY THEY DO TO VERY TODAY(never ending “war on terror” story). BECAUSE EVEN IF WAR WAS FOR THE SAKE OF MONEY, MONEY SHOULD BE USED FOR AMERICAN CITIZENS AND NOT WHAT THE CASE IS OR AGAINST WHITES(to destroy us allover the world) !!! You don't really proof for 911, just put your sht together in your heads...THIS IS PLENTY ENOUGH TO HAVE O(B)SAMA INDICTED FOR CRIMES COMMITTED AGAINST WHITE AMERICAN HUMANITY TOGETHER WITH HIS ZIONIST MASTERS) !!!

Don't worry O(s)bama, you have just saved USA what is lots of Dollars in your DEBT DEALS as those best of America or Navy Seals would also grew older and then you already know how it goes...DEAD & ILL = DEBT DEAL !!!

HOW MUCH FURTHER ARE WE WILLING TO GO IN ORDER TO PLEASE VERY SAME PEOPLE WHO DENY US EVEN THE RIGHT TO EXISTENCE(what is to you country without laws or lawless country in respect to your personal rights, but the one that in contrast to your denied basic human rights recognizes you extremely liable when payments are due) !!?

IS IT INDEPENDENCE THAT WE CELEBRATE OR DEPENDENCE (what are your credit card bills or alimony saying about it) !!? HOW IS YOUR DIABETES AND LOST MARRIAGES !!? FORECLOSURES AND JOB SEARCH !!? THAT IS THE QUESTION TO BE OR NOT TO BE !!! IS IT LAND OF THE FREE OR STATE OF TERROR AGAINST OWN POPULATION !!? IT IS TIME TO LET THEM KNOW WHAT COLOR ARE THE STRIPES ON OUR STAR SPANGLED BANNER !!! TIME TO DETERMINE WHOSE INDEPENDENCE/AMERICA, WE CELEBRATE TODAY(who wants to erase us and denies us the right to exist) !!! IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHOM WE ADDRESS WITH "PRESIDENT" (STOP HUMILIATING YOURSELF) !!!

VOTING POLL:

DO WE NEED MORE PROOFS TO INDICT OBAMA AND BUSH ADMINISTRATION FOR CRIMES COMMITTED AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY !!?

1)NO, THEY ARE CLEARLY GUILTY AS OIL WAR NEVER EVER WAS REAL ISSUE IN GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITES. REAL ISSUE ARE FACTS OR WHAT WE WITNESS TODAY WHEN VETERANS ARE HOMELESS, JOBLESS, KILLED, ETC.

2)NO, AS 911 ALONE AS WELL AS ACTIONS IMPOSED AGAINST WHITES IN USA (as well worldwide) ARE CLEARLY INDICATING ACTS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY

3)YESS AS JUST YESTERDAY(for over 15 years to very yesterday), WE (news/media = vacuum world of lies) WERE TELLING YOU THAT UNEMPLOYMENT WAS AT 10% WHILE TODAY ONE IS AT 50% (HOW COME NO ONE QUESTION JOURNALISM LIKE THIS OR WHAT IS WORLD OF LIES AND DEMENTIA)!

4)I AGREE WITH FIRST TWO ANSWERS ABOVE. IT IS TIME TO PRESS CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST BOTH ADMINISTRATIONS DUE TO ACTS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY FOR THE SAKE(SAFETY) OF US AND OUR CHILDREN(DO NOT TURN THEM IN WHITE REFUGEES ON PLANET APES OR WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE WHEN VISITING ABOVE PAGES) !!!

Aki
Aki

Fascinating individual with a drive to be and do the extra ordinary. I enjoyed this article and am amazed at the talents and hard work of Dick Seeger.

 

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