The Chinati Foundation is a contemporary art museum. Its houses a collection of permanent installations across the rambling campus of a decommissioned air base. But it isn't a spot you just wander in to. No, It takes an appointment, a guide, and a lot of time.
We had a few hours to kill before our tour at the Chinati Foundation so we hit another notable art spot in town. Ballroom Marfa is a contemporary art space in the heart of town. Like all good things Marfa, it is a converted building. Before hosting films, music, and performing arts events and a gallery, the structure was a dance hall dating back to 1927.
We have zig zagged across the country enough now to see familiar places. There goes the gas station with prices so inflated that we risked running out of gas rather than indulge the gouging owners. There is the parking lot where I taped up Dodgy I's window when it rolled down for the last time and never quite rolled back up. And up ahead is Prada Marfa. This stop is intentional because what we didn't know at the time we passed Prada Marfa the fist time is that it is only the tip of the minimalist artistic iceberg floating alone in the East Texas desert known as Marfa.
I remember visiting the Getty Center around 2004 and being blown away by the gardens. Certainly, the collection of art works inside the Getty represent noteworthy landmarks in art history. Yet, the garden was such a beautiful and deliberate journey that I couldn't help but be drawn outside.
Most people go to museums to experience professionally curated art. We rely on the road and serendipity to guide our experiences. Such was the case when we had an hour to kill in Colorado Springs and a general heading—one that took us near the house of the kinetic artist, Starr Kempf. While Kempf may be constructing etherial whirligigs beyond this mortal coil, several of his striking structures still grace the front yard of his former home.
Noah Purifoy's Outdoor Desert Art Museum fills ten acres of "environmental statues" outside of Joshua Tree, California. Visitors wander down a dirt road to the yard of towering sculptures of found art. Toilets, bowling balls, hooks, rope, and scrap metal find their place in 3D collages and weird structures.
The Kabin may be part of the Kcymaerxthaere series of pieces by Eames Demetrios but it certainly stands on its own in drawing your attention into an alternate world. This dilapidated "Kabin" on the outskirts of a housing development in Joshua Tree, California feels as if we had crossed into an alternate timeline. The Krblin Jihn Kabin is a faux-historic preserve where religious dissidents were exiled. It is complete with explanatory panels and plaques outlining the historic context and traditions.
Did you know that California was split in two over the question of where Jesus walked: North California or South California? As plaques explain, how this was the homestead of the exiled Krblin Jihn, member of the Jihn Wranglikan sect. Inside are verses from Jihn's translations of the bible (ommitting the selatious "o" and "c", which the Jihn Wranglikan sect consider to be obscene) and mention of his work, Kmmentaries n Matthew.
Robolights has been the continuing project of Kenny Irwin Jr. since 1986. What was intended as a dystopian Christmas display of robots and found objects has become a block spanning marvel for visitors any day of the year. We happened to come by in January and were not disappointed.