Feb 22

Day 7: Sculpture garden

Category: Death Valley

Rhyolite is home to a sculpture garden. The concept is visionary: leaving a deserted ghost town redolent of ages past, visitors gaze upon statuary, augmented by a breathtaking sweep of desert background – a unique place de l’art. The kind of place where artfully placed shrubs complement tasteful bronzes while visitors sip from fluted goblets and listen to chamber music. Remember, this is Nevada, where creativity, money, and desire are bounded only by the limits of human imagination. A place where people think big. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you this, the fruit of desert creativity, fertilized with the unique flavor of Nevada culture:


OK, I admit: it’s more like the kind of place where beer-fueled bikers stumble out of their trailers, masonry trowel in hand, after watching a discovery channel documentary about easter island. Other works decorate the breathtaking, ancient and quiet desert:


The strangely-proportioned female totem with steer-horn hands is rather well-executed, but what’s with the prospector and his penguin sidekick? And what is that other thing – the Evil emperor from star wars about to get on his bicycle? There is a whole series of those emperor things, which are quite haunting even though I like to make fun of them. And, apropos of this kind of thing, I’ll throw in this, a collage of images from my favorite Nevada brothel, located just north of Beatty:


If you look at this one (click through to see it large) you’ll see that the induhvidual who made this sign was unable to spell the word “re-modeling,” tried again, failed in exactly the same way, and decided to just post it anyway. I also like the white ‘A’ on the hillside, but shouldn’t that be painted scarlet? Also, is a trashed airplane necessary – are the customers of “Angel’s Ladies” so desensitized that they need the siren call of a destroyed aircraft to pull them in? Maybe it’s like the playground at McDonald’s drawing the families in – the truckers stop to look at the wrecked plane and think “Hey, would you look at that – a perfectly good brothel is hidden behind that airplane! What the hell, I’ve already stopped, might as well go inside.”

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