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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dolls, potties, and beer bottles

My mom says I should title this entry "keeping a positive attitude in a negative situation"... which gives you a clear picture of what she thought of the day. But at least she wasn't frightened like she was when we went to Venice Beach.

First we went to the "sky village swap meet" which was supposed to be part art installation and part flea market. It was an interesting experience.

In the middle of the swap meet was a "magical cave". It was a cave made out of spray insulation painted brown. There were several windows that you could put your face up to and peer inside to view the inner magical land. This is what it looked like from the outside:

This is what you saw if you looked in the peep hole:

We didn't buy anything from the vendors, but I did meet a cute puppy that licked my face and it smelled like baby puppy scent and I liked that.

Then we continued on into the dessert until we found Noah Purifoy's dessert art museum. This was a couple acres of... strangely organized trash. I thought it was interesting to explore. There were several shelters with oddly arranged items that appeared to have a purpose or function, but did not. If a garbage dump started to evolve into a higher form of life, this is what it would probably look like.

I began to notice a common use of materials among outsider artists. I've been seeing over and over, doll parts, old toilets, and glass bottles. Im not sure why this is.

As we left the dessert museum and back through the small town, we came upon the "Art Queen"- a place for the art of Shari Elf. I loved the "world famous crochet museum":

This is what it looked like on the inside:

I think it might have been the worlds tiniest museum! I also enjoyed her garage gallery of artwork and this is a picture of me enjoying it:

This was my favorite piece of artwork by Shari:

I also bought a shirt that she made. She screen prints images onto used clothing which I thought was a great way to make affordable wearable art. This is me wearing the shirt I bought. It says "What Would Cher do?".

And this is Shari, the super cool artist herself (such a cute artsy girl, I think we'd be friends if I lived in the California dessert):

Next we continued on to Riverside to seek out the beer bottle chapel. I'd been looking forward to this place because I'd been hearing about this outsider art environment- part church, part taco shop, part art exhibit (another trend i've noticed about outsider art environments is that they are unsure of their purpose) That sounded great to me.

It indeed was a wacky crazy art land, with a taco shop and church amongst it all (as well as dolls, potties and many many many beer bottles). I'd read many reviews saying that eating there was not a good idea, but I didn't believe the reviews. I insisted that we eat there in order to fully experience the place. That was a bad idea. This is my mom, upset about the food:

Here is some of the wacky art around the place:

And now here is the beautiful chapel- like a serene, catholic, colorful oasis in the midst of crazy land:

Notice Jesus and the eagle on top. And notice the walls, made completely of beer bottles. The inside alter:

Paintings on the ceiling (for those who prefer a less-heard-of Sistine chapel):

We left with hungry bellies, but not hungry eyes.
Right now I am inside this wigwam (our hotel for the night):

We're staying in the wigwam hotel in San Bernadino.

Tomorrow we will get up early and drive further into the dessert to find Salvation Mountain- the Mecca!!


Matt said...

You're Crazy!

Aunt Donna Mc said...

I've enjoyed seeing your blog again! Wahoo! Interesting places, full of interesting people. Toilet art...it's been known to happen here in the South.hahaha! Sometimes is good to stretch our wings & see what's on the 'other side of the tracks'. Y'all have fun & keep posting pictures of your adventure!