Out in the middle of the desert, ten miles from Sloan, Nevada, and just about the same mileage from the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” Sign stands seven tall pillars of DayGlo-painted rocks stacked on top of each other. I kid you not!
The Seven Magic Mountains called our name. Within the Ivanpah Valley, adjacent to Sheep Mountain and the McCullough, Bird Spring, and Goodsprings ranges of mountains, they also await your curiosity. and they are a curiosity!
After reading the headline on a blog, They got my curiosity up. Public Art in the desert? Yes. , “you gotta go see it”, they say. Really? So off we went. My wife, our dog, and my camera went to see what the fuss was about. You can go see it too, for another 2 years. You can drive out there and see what all the fuss is about. (it’s free)
They expect six million people will go out there in the next two years to see the rocks. Sounds about right. When we went last Sunday, there was a steady stream of cars, people, and pets coming and going. Taking pictures, touching the huge boulders, and wandering off in the desert to explore some more.
Editor Notes: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a permit extension for the artwork, allowing the installation to remain on view through the end of 2021.
“Seven Magic Mountains elicits continuities and solidarities between human and nature, artificial and natural, then and now, Rondinone”
As art displays go, these are interesting. The stark contrast of brightly colored rock formations thirty feet tall against the large and barren landscape of the Mojave desert mixed with the rugged walls of the surrounding mountains. I find it interesting to mix these colored rocks with the ordinary peacefulness of the desert. Minus the muted sounds of cars whizzing by on the nearby I-15, you can still get the feeling of isolation mixed with what could easily be characterized as several giant-sized canisters of Play-Doh!
For those stuck in California bound traffic, it gives them something to do besides look at the taillights of the car in front of them. Being close to the Sloan/Goodsprings exit at Mile Marker 12, they may even give you another reason to get out there and see them, then venture down to the old haunted mining town of Goodsprings. The Pioneer Sloon in Goodsprings is where, in 1942, legendary actor Clark Gable, waited for three days at the bar for word on his wife Carole Lombard. She was lost in a plane crash on the nearby Mount Potosi. So you can make a day of it!
It’s some strange art that is privately funded and it gives the area some recognition. All the rock was quarried from the surrounding mountains and installed using local labor. Yet, some people feel the need to destroy what others create. Less than two months after being installed, the art display was vandalized. Some idiots actually made the effort to drive all the way out in the desert to spray paint graffiti over the rocks. (Sorry, there is no such thing as graffiti art. It’s vandalism, plain and simple!). STOP IT!
There is some security and it is monitored on a regular basis by Metro. Not to mention that you always have a few art lovers and desert dwellers that may have no problem digging a hole in the desert to dispose of problems… Just saying!!
Seven Magic Mountains is open and free to the public during daylight hours.