Folks, This is Art

The road leading up to, or down from, Great Basin National Park is lined with several examples of “folk art,” a phenomena I’ve observed on most of my long trips. I doubt many of these pieces would ever end up in museums, but I love them and will usually stop to photograph them, at least when they are on a long, isolated stretch of highway where it’s safe to pull over. I think they stand as a testament to peoples’ innate desire, and need, for art.

More often than not, they display a twisted sense of humor, which might explain why I like them. Here’s the one that first caught my attention.


It was hard to miss that turquoise face as I drove by, though it took awhile to recognize that those twisted coat hangers probably represented an antenna. It’s not hard to understand why someone might feel alienated, or even threatened by aliens, living out here in the middle of the high desert in Nevada, though you’d think they might find some comfort in nearby casinos and bordello.

If you can’t find comfort in your moonshine jug, it’s probably comforting to know that you’re likely to die with your cowboy boots on out here,


which somehow brought back fond memories of the year I was five and last wore my cowboy boots in Goldendale, Washington. Now they’d have to bury me with my sandals on.

It wasn’t until I had passed these more dramatic set pieces that I noticed a number of subtler figures festooning the barbed wire fence.


Judging from the wire frame, I suspect the poor girl’s dress is a little the worse for wear, probably to be expected if the weather we experienced on our two days there were any indication of what the weather can be like here.

The last, or first, set-piece depending on whether you’re coming or going, was this old four-door with no wheels.


Hopefully it will be a long while and a long ways from here before my Toyota Tacoma Camper suffers a similar fate.