Sunday, March 22, 2009

Slab City Tank Art

I just completed a two-week trip to Southern California in search of interesting art installations. This is the first of a series reports on what I found on this trip. The first installment is about two large murals painted on some concrete tanks at the abandoned military base now known as Slab City.

The concrete tanks are about 100 feet in diameter and maybe 12 feet high. They probably were water tanks. A year and a half ago a guy started painting murals on them. One of the tanks looks like it is finished and the other one is in progress. I thought the artwork was spectacular.

The finished tank has a sexuality theme. The artwork is layered with the background layer consisting of the Kama Sutra positions. On top of that are dancing people with animal faces and also a ring of people holding hands. There are also a lot of small animals depicted in sexual positions.

The other tank is not done yet. So far it has dinosaurs in the background with various weapons being painted on top.

I met the artist and his idea is to create something outrageous. I believe he is succeeding. This has to be one of the only places in the country where someone can get away with creating such a major and controversial work of art. He seems quite unattached to the finished murals and welcomes graffiti artists to come out and add to the work. He refuses to be photographed and doesn't want anyone to know who made the art.

I'd love to go back in about a year and see what the tanks look like then. Click here to see more photos.