I learned about the Seven Magic Mountains from researching on things to do in Las Vegas while we’re there for Labor Day weekend last year, and I got curious by them and their history. Before I move on to talking about a more recent trip, allow me to share our final stop at the in before we headed back to San Diego. The Seven Magic Mountains exhibit is only 30 minutes south of Las Vegas, and it’s on our way back via I-15, so I asked Roan if we could make a quick stopover to experience it up close and personal.
The Seven Magic Mountains is created by Swiss artist, Ugo Rondinone, who’s been living in New York since the late 90s. The Seven Magic Mountains is part of a movement that started 40 years ago in Nevada, a marriage between pop art and land art. In landscape art, it camouflages itself and blend in with nature, and the Seven Magic Mountains portrays a contrary air between the desert and the city lights. It evokes continuity and solidarity between the artificial and the natural and between human and nature.
Related Posts: Travel Diary: Valley of Fire State Park / Travel Diary: Hoover Dam / Travel Diary: The Las Vegas Strip / Travel Diary: Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area / Daytime Views of The Las Vegas Strip / Old Las Vegas Strip: The Fremont Street Experience
In 2011, the Nevada Museum of Art invited Rondinone to develop a new artwork in the desert. Rondinone used boulders, stacked them together like hoodoo (strangely shaped rock pillar) mountains—stone formations that you find all over the world. In America, you will find many of them in Utah. Rondinone painted the stones with DayGlo. DayGlo is the most artificial color that you can get. The color palette is very restricted to the seven rainbow colors plus black, white, and silver.
According to Rondinone, the benefit of public sculpture on public ground is that everybody can share it. His motivation was to go out of the world and present art in a way where everybody can relate to. He believes that color is a way to relate to people and that the stacked boulders tower everybody. Rondinone thinks that landscape art has no meaning unless you approach it then you feel the scale, but viewed from far away, everything looks small. The Seven Magic Mountains also evokes meditational situation where you see land art as an extension of meditating with nature.
Note: The exhibition opened in May 11, 2016, and will be on view for two years. If you plan on visiting, make sure they haven’t been taken down!
Several posts (and a year) later, I’m all caught up with our Nevada back[b]log. Why it took me over a year to work on them is beyond me, but I’m so relieved that I now have one less thing on my blog to-do’s list. I have more travel posts coming in the next few weeks (or months), so be keep an eye out for those, and thanks for following along this whole time!