23rd October 2015
My stay in Joshua Tree, California was coming to an end. Another day to go . Tomorrow I intend to go to the Sky Village Really, to take in the art scene around Joshua Tree, one must stay for a couple of months or more. There’s much to be discovered in Yucca Valley. At this time there was also an Art tour of many Artists studios every weekend I think, and I have missed that opportunity. My time in this high desert country that my daughter now calls home has run out. At the end of seven actual days spent in this place, I began to realise that there was more one can see and do in this art infested area. Its growing in that direction like the Joshua Trees that dot the landscape and for some reason are never clumped together, maintaining a respectable distance between each other. So are the Artists who who live here. During these few days I met up with a couple of them like Shari Elf who makes art out of trash and Brian Leatart a leading Food Photographer in the USA.
This evening my daughter and I drove up to this desert Art Museum. We passed a few odd looking ‘put togethers’ from Junk as we parked the car. And I said to my daughter what queer looking structures made from junk. She said, ‘That is what we have come to see.” And I said, all this junk? She sort of felt offended, having taken the trouble to drive up here. With a rather angry countenance she said, “This is the work of Noah Purifoy”
The way she said that – it meant that whoever put all of this together in the middle of nowhere must be somebody! Anyway, I wandered around amongst all these structures trying to figure out what it was all about, and the next thing that came to my mind was why junk? It would have certainly taken a lot of time and effort to bring all this stuff here from where ever and have the people with heavy equipment to move and place some of these gigantic structures in place.
The Sun began to set and I was more interested in capturing a good sunset going down behind the surrounding hills and, the Mountains of the Joshua Tree National Park saying goodbye to the last rays of the setting sun.
So back to these odd shapes. I took a few photos aand wandered back to the centre that maintains all of this. It was only then, after a watching a video on Noah Purifoy that I came to know that he was one of the most revered artists of his time. Too late, I will have to come another time and explore each of those structures and understand what this renowned conceptual artist wanted to convey to its viewers. It immediately reminded me of what Picaso said to a journalist when asked to explain one of his paintings. Picaso is supposedly to have said to the Jounalist, If I have to explain what the painting is all about, I would have been a Journalist not a painter. That virtually sums up what these erections were all about. Of course, there’s a flyer that you can take from a wooden box at the Entrance, make donations and read what it is all about. I did, after doing the rounds. Reading about it after seeing the structures made more sense to me rather than looking at them with a preconceived idea of what they are supposed to represent. As I went from structure to structure on this 10 acre site where Noah spent the last years of his life, it was an interesting exercise viewing all of these assembles from different angles to get into the mind of the creator.
During this time, some of His pieces were being shown at Los Angeles County Museum of Art. where, in Los Angeles Noah Purifoy had begun his unique creations You can read more about this great artist at http://noahpurifoy.com/foundation/foundation.html
I just read in the New York Times that Noah Purifoy was included in “The Best in Art of 2015” http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/12/09/arts/design/best-art-2015.html?_r=1
More photos at : http://kevin-peterson.net/?page_id=28115