Sometimes I just need to be out in the desert. Far away from the neon, the bars, the slot machines.
Not sure if it’s because I grew up out here, but there are days where I feel the need to drive out into the wide open roads of the Mojave and celebrate the beauty of the mountains and valleys of Southern Nevada.
And if you add onto it public art, I’m really down.
Oh, and it’s free?
COUNT ME IN!
Seven Magic Mountains combines ALL of these elements–alcohol-free, outdoors, art, and no cost.
Seven Magic Mountains is located south of Vegas off the I-15.
From The Strip it would probably take about 30 minutes (depending in traffic).
From Vegas take the I-15 South and after you pass the South Point Casino, watch for signs for the exit, (Exit 25 to Sloan).
Then you’ll follow signs showing you to take a left.
You’ll drive alongside the I-15 on a what feels like a frontage road (but is actually Las Vegas Blvd.!) for another 10-15 minutes and the artwork will be on your left.
Okay–I know these are just rocks in the desert.
I have heard people complain–how is this art?
And I get it–art is subjective.
But isn’t a painting just color on canvas?
A sculpture is just carved rock, right?
I feel like when we open our minds for just a moment–we can allow these candy colored boulders standing in the middle of the desert to say something to us as well.
Allow me to geek out for a moment…to me, Ugo Rondinone’s Seven Magic Mountains has the same effect I imagine Neon Signage having in the 1950’s and 1960’s when drivers showed up in the middle of the night from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
At that time there was little light in the desert at night, pulling into Vegas had a sort of sensory overload on the viewer with it’s flashy signage and bright glow of reds and blues.
I know it sounds cheezy and this is totally me nerding out…but this artwork made me feel the way Tom Wolfe describes in his 1964 essay about Las Vegas (ummm…but minus me being hyped up on pills/alcohol/whatever else that guy had in his briefcase….ha….!)
I guess what I’m trying to get at is I know these are literally just rocks in the desert.
But art elevates that which is common place and allows us glimpses of beauty and otherwordly-ness that we may not otherwise see.
The neon colored totems in the center of the mojave desert make me feel hopeful.
Make me feel happy.
Make me feel…loved?
All the feelings I used to seek from drinking.
And they’re just a quick car ride down the road. <3