Nevada Art (USA): The Power of Place

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Nevada, for me, was full of beautiful and slightly weird places. Places that put you in awe, places that make you humble and places that creep the hell out of you. And we were not the only people inspired and moved by the surroundings.

On the edges of the ghost town of Rhyolite, just outside of Death Valley National Parc, we find the Goldwell Open Air Museum. The museum was founded in 2000 around already existing artworks of Belgian artist Albert Szukalski who created the first sculptures on site in 1984. His 12 life-sized disciples patterned after DaVinci’s The Last Supper are a real eyecatcher, and truly stand out in the impressive scenery. The statues consist of empty flowing robes (made of fiberglass), so they appear to be ghosts. Another fiberglass ghost, the Ghostrider, stands next to his bicycle, ready to go for a ride. Other artworks are a tall model of a miner and his Penguin made of metal, and a tall pixellated version of a nude woman made of pink and yellow cinder blocks named Lady Desert: The Venus of Nevada.

Goldfield (NV) is another intriguing place – with a quite impressive cemetery – but also the home of the International Car Forest of the Last Church an installation that holds somewhere between outsider art and a surreal car junkyard. Over 40 vehicles (e.g. cars, buses) are scattered, nose down, throughout a plot of land. The project was started by Mark Rippie and later joined by Chad Sorg; both are no longer active on the property.

Photos taken by Claudia Venhorst at Rhyolite & Goldfield (NV, USA) May, 2018.

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