I am going to start a segment called “Art in Unexpected Places” and start it off with a piece which I have yet to find but I’ll know it when I see it. I suspect it will pop up without warning or fanfare, but there it will be in an unexpected corner of my life, and when I see it I will photograph it and post it here. I wonder where it will be and what it will be of? That’s the fun part of this new segment (that hasn’t even become a segment yet)! I did see some nice art for sale in a deli last Monday when I was getting a sandwich. It was a series of paintings of crows. They were for sale. Quite an unexpected opportunity to purchase some art: “I’ll have the salami sandwich, light mayo, extra lettuce, a lemonade, and a crow painting. Yes, that is all. Thank you.” But since I didn’t take a photograph of the paintings I guess the deli-crow-art won’t be the kick-starter of this segment.
I started this post today on October 26th 2013. Let’s see how long it takes me to find the art I’m looking for.
174 days to be exact. That’s how long it took. Yesterday, April 23rd 2014 was the first time I was genuinely surprised to see art in an unexpected place. I have seen art in expected places many times over the past few months, like in coffee shops, farmers markets, restaurants, airports, stores, etc, but it took until yesterday as I was aimlessly staring out the backseat window of my parents rental car into the barren, hostile desert landscape somewhere outside of Borrego Springs, CA that I was genuinely surprised by a work of art. So surprised, I might add, that the only photo I managed to capture of it was this horrible shot:
See the art? No? Those two brown specks that look like dead tree trunks are art. Hold on… let me magnify that for you:
Ooooooh they are HORSE SCULPTURES! I see it now. There were actually numerous sculptures scattered along both sides of the road. I think there were even other animals mixed in among the horses (i swear i saw an elephant), but I was so surprised to see art in what felt like the middle of nowhere that I didn’t even register them until it was almost too late. They were really incredible though and they looked like they belonged there in that landscape, natural as the shrubs and cactus that surrounded them. Of course I had no idea of their story and the strange desert sculptures would remain a mystery that day. Our intention was to go back and photograph them on the way home, but as suddenly as they had appeared they just as quickly disappeared from our minds and we took a different route back home, not passing by the art again. I would have not remembered them at all if it wasn’t for this one photo, PROOF they are out there, that I captured as I fumbled to get the camera app on my cell phone turned on in time.
Here is what I found out about the sculptures this morning from DesertUSA.com:
Dennis Avery, land owner of Galleta Meadows Estates in Borrego Springs envisioned the idea of adding ‘free standing art’ to his property with original steel welded sculptures created by ‘Perris Jurassic Park’ owner/artist/welder Ricardo Breceda based in Perris, California. There are 129 metal sculptures located in Borrego Springs.
129 SCULPTURES?! Wow, I think I maybe saw 10 at the most. Apparently I need to go back and re-discover this desert art more thoroughly. I love how art can spring up and surprise people in ways like this series of sculptures does. I love when people have a vision for amazing things like this, ‘just because’, that are free for all to come enjoy and add something exciting and unexpected to a long stretch of road that many would think seems desolate and barren otherwise (I’m personally a fan of the desert landscape, but I think it is an acquired taste for many). If you get a chance, make the trek out there to see these great sculptures. They are nothing short of incredible and I will be back to see them again for sure… but this time I’ll be expecting them.
Here are some photos of the stuff I missed (Google it to see even more):