Artist Ugo Rondinone’s “Seven Magic Mountains”features 7 totems of painted stones noticeable along Interstate 15 near the Jean Dry Lake.
Tuesday, June 5, 2018|2 a.m.
We have all concerned this area in the desert for something: Seven Magic Mountains.
Two years ago last month, the massive public art work by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone increased on this stretch of land roughly Thirty Minutes south of the Las Vegas Strip. The setup, 7 towers of largely neon-colored in your area sourced stones of differing sizes and shapes, is tough to miss out on. (It’s off Interstate 15, and there are numerous signs. There’s a dirt car park at the website.)
“Seven Magic Mountains” has actually proved to be a popular attraction.
The exhibition, which supposedly cost $3.5 million and was privately moneyed, was supposed to “close” last month, however it has actually been such a struck with visitors (up to 1,000 a day by some accounts) that it will remain a minimum of through completion of 2018. There is talk of extending it a number of years, and perhaps even making it a permanent addition.
There is something cheerful and whimsical about this colorful expression of art– 33 boulders, each weighing 10 to 25 loads, configured into towers 30 to 35 feet tall– relatively in the middle of no place. It’s a welcome break from the earth tones of pebbles and dirt and the soft green of cacti and other plants, wonderfully popping off the figurative canvas in a most unwelcoming place. A number of mountain ranges loom in the range.
And it is highly photogenic. According to the Reno Journal-Gazette, more than 2 million people have taken selfies, or the like, at Seven Magic Mountains for Instagram. After getting an unique permit, Vogue used the setup as the background for an image shoot in April 2017. Beyoncé, Jay-Z and child Blue Ivy have even been here.
On the day of my go to, the “photographers” are out in force, as are their subjects. There’s the female who carries out a handstand versus one of the towers. She likewise does a headstand a few feet away. Then she takes numerous pictures of the couple who photographed her. At first they stand in front of a tower. Next they stage their finest “dive.” There are several sets of parents who let their children climb onto the boulders, as if they’re some sort of jungle fitness center, for images. A little indication asks individuals to remain off the art work, however it’s apparent from a few of the worn paint that plea has been ignored. I make certain the sun and other aspects have not helped either. (Early on, vandals defaced some of the stones with graffiti.)
So why did Rondinone select this website?
Sevenmagicmountains.com says that, according to the artist, “the area is physically and symbolically midway in between the natural and the artificial,” the natural being the mountains, desert and dry lake bed background, the artificial being “the highway and the continuous flow of traffic in between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.”
“In the past, land art has been camouflaging art,” he informed the Las Vegas Review-Journal, but “by giving a layer of color, we are uniting the pop art movement and land art.” Land art isn’t really totally new to the Nevada desert. Michael Heizer and Jean Tinguely created works nearby in the 1960s.
I spend 30 or 45 minutes here, meandering around the towers and supporting, up, up into the desert in an effort to get that perfect shot: the one with all 7 towers– and no people. It clearly isn’t really in the cards, as there is a constant stream of visitors. Maybe I’ll be back one day. I wager it would be charming, and desolate, at sunrise.