Driving along I-15 from Las Vegas toward Los Angeles its hard to miss this large-scale art installation. 7 pillars stacked with vibrantly colored boulders stand tall in the Mojave desert. Towering over 30 feet high, they certainly cast a presence and instantly capture ones attention. Seven Magic Mountains is the work of Swiss artist, Ugo Rondinone. As Ugo has said his project “merges the histories of land art and pop art”.
We visited Seven Magic Mountains in late April of this year (2017). We happened to be driving passed on my birthday and it was something I had really wanted to experience. Already having a large intrigue and attraction for the desert and grand love of vibrant art and far out ideas, Seven Magic Mountains was like a real scene from my childhood (and todays, who am I kidding?) imagination.
If you’re not specifically going to Seven Magic Mountains it is not a drastic detour if you do decide to check it out. There are road signs making the route very clear. You veer off of I-5 onto a two lane desert road that runs parallel to Interstate 5 and drive maybe 10 to 12 miles before you come across a parking lot. There are signs in the parking lot warning visitors of poisonous snakes so use caution while getting lost in a brightly colored daydream.
It is not as desolate as one might imagine. It is a pretty trendy place for instagram photos and general viewing so the crowds encourage you to get creative with your angles. Having been a Friday afternoon I was surprised at how quickly the crowds dispersed. No one stayed for an extended time period but more so for a quick insta snap and brief walk through the seven towers. There were insanely powerful wind gusts that would snap the desert sand against your skin and made viewing a small challenge until it would settle. Probably the undesirable wind and warning signs to beware of poisonous snakes kept the flow of people moving.
Isn’t it inspiring that someone had a grand vision and made it a reality? And that we all have the same potential? Different opportunities but same potential to create, to manifest, to design our life. However far-fetched, different, or unnecessary as some say it may be it is also possible. I love that feeling of walking through someones vision, someones creation. Have it be a card, a painting, a story, or Seven Magic Mountains. There is a lingering of the creators essence, an intimacy shared, and a frequency emitted.
Considering the wind my best advice would be to wear articles of clothing other than a dress. If you do wear a dress be sure it is form-fitting or cut in a way that prevents it from catching the wind unless your going for a Marilyn Monroe style capture (do your thing!). And if you’re to attempt dancers pose check your blind spot for groups of people strolling by. You can’t see them but they were there and they could see more of me than I was going for (oops).
Ugo Rondinone said “Most people don’t know how beautiful the land is around Las Vegas, so I hope this inspires them to explore the city’s nature.” I hope so too. The landscape within the Ivanpah Valley is absolutely alluring. Just visiting Ugo’s installation brings you to a part of Nevada one normally wouldn’t explore while visiting Sin City or passing through. While many stop to see the out of the ordinary Magic Mountains many get more than they bargained for.
Seven Magic Mountains is on display until May 2018.
Have you visited Seven Magic Mountains or something like it?
What kind of places are you most drawn too?
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