Saturday, September 14, 2019

More desert art

I’m not a huge fan of Ugo Rodinone’s Seven Magic Mountains art installation south of Las Vegas. But I don’t loathe it, like some (many?) people. I say give art a chance. It sure beats, oh, a borax processing plant, casino billboard, or other manmade structure you’re likely to see along I-15.
Mediating between geological formations and abstract compositions, Rodinone’s Seven Magic Mountains consists of locally-sourced limestone boulders stacked vertically in groups…(yadda yadda yadda) The artwork extends Rodinone’s long-running interest in natural phenomena and their reformulation in art. Inspired by naturally occurring hoodoos and balancing rock formations, the stacks also evoke the art of meditative rock balancing…(yadda yadda yadda)
So says the plaque at the site. I prefer not to read what way-to-serious people write about art. It’s like when Frank Zappa said writing about music is like dancing about architecture. I think music and art are most meaningful and personal when it’s just experienced, without explanations.

But at the end of the tedious artspeak is a phrase that hits my nail on the head:
…offering a contemporary critique of the simulacra in nearby Las Vegas.
Yes, imitation and garishness rising out of the desert.

Whatever the artistic merit of Seven Magic Mountains, it’s certainly beloved by Instagrammers and drone videographers.


  1. Never heard of it before. Be worth stopping at if they have restrooms.

  2. Stupendous, and somewhat magical, a 100 ton crane don't come cheap. What the???

  3. Art class was the easiest 5 credit A I got in college; sure beats physics and math.

    1. It was for me, too. But I made a career out of it.

  4. I like rock stacks. Don't really like the poster paint colors though. But the desert weather could well do interesting things to the paint job.