Burning Man is a seven-day event in the Black Rock desert 100 miles (161 kilometers) north of Reno, Nevada. Aside from the wild night festivities and highly creative interactive artwork, Burning Man is a world renown Art event culminating in the burning a giant effigy on the last evening.
I have never been to Burning Man and truthfully, the clothing optional aspects of it intimidate the hell out of me. The artwork and designs of the temporary structures fascinate my aesthetic imagination, therefore, it was to my delight that some of the smaller artwork from the 2016 Burning Man is displayed at Reno Playa Art Park. Looking at the sculptures, it’s evident that Burning Man is a person who is stepping out to the beat of their own drummer.
This artwork is an homage to Cadillac Ranch in Texas where the Ant Farm artist collaborators buried 10 Cadillacs with their tail fins visible back in 1974. This Cadillac is a plywood replica with its tail buried in the gravel and its nose in the air. It symbolizes the emergence of a more environmentally friendly vehicle.
I loved seeing these tall Dandelions with their colorful pulsating lights. It reminded me of fireworks! There are three Dandelions that are 23-27 feet (7.31 to 8.22 meters) tall. There are benches underneath each sculpture where people can sit and look up at the spectacle.
Walking around and inside Trasparenza was like being inside a frozen wonderland. It also resembled a transparent cathedral with acrylic spires. Lex and I had a fun time walking around and finding the entrance inside the enchanted sculpture. Inside, we were charmed by its fascinating construction and seeing the Italian inscription, Saper Verdere which means “Knowing How to See” (famously quoted by Leonardo Da Vinci). A true spiritual experience.
Joe Rock certainly has made his mark on Reno, Nevada. His murals all over the city cover the sides of hotels, old storefronts, car garages and inside the Renaissance Reno Hotel. My impression of Daydream is how the stark and beautiful desolation of the desert landscape inspires imagination and creativity. The two figures kissing seem to reflect the human condition and need for connection to one another.
What can I say about STAR WAY? First thing I wanted to do when I encountered it was to wish upon one of its numerous twinkling stars. It stands 15 feet (4.57 meters) tall and has over two hundred individually lit stars. You can actually make a wish if you have a special wishing star that you can put on the wishing console. We didn’t know how to obtain one. Oh well….
These steel butterflies were massive. They are made of a blue mirror-like metal with jewels embedded in the wings. Very pretty but I kept thinking they resembled some imagined offspring of “Mothra” (the giant Japanese Moth monster). The sculpture is actually a metaphor for the “transformative” experiences of Burning Man where the attendees go to be renewed and reborn.
Lex was especially interested in walking through this artwork hoping that it would give him good luck at the slot machines in the casinos (it didn’t). It did fit in the ambiance of Reno with all of its gambling establishments. Wishing all good luck in life, the Good Luck Horseshoe seemed to be the most fitting sculpture in the wonderful Reno Playa Art Park.