Monday, June 27, 2011

Noah Purifoy Outdoor Desert Museum

OK.  Stop.

Think of the craziest person that you know.  That lady that misplaces her socks in her freezer and her cats in the dryer.  Your friend that barks like a dog when he's mad at his neighbors because he's convinced the CIA  will recognize his voice if he speaks.  Maybe it's the guy at the corner store that collects jars of his own urine because he swears it makes the most hygenic mouthwash.

Now, pause a moment and look around: this is what the inside of their mind might look like.

This is not to say that Noah Purifoy was crazy.  In fact, you have him to thank for the preservation of Watt's Towers, as he was the founding director in the 1960's.  Once the riots broke out, he literally picked up the broken pieces of his community and transformed them into art.  Make no bones about it, this was outsider art.  But once it blossomed against the lifeless landscape of the Southern Californian desert- it took an acid bath.

One would be hard pressed to find a better canvas than the dusty desolate Mojave desert for Purifoy's sculptures made out of cafeteria trays and headless mannequins.  Take the dirt roads out of downtown Joshua tree and make a right past the private residence that has a hand scrawled sign in the driveway that says, "NO JERKS.  THIS MEANS YOU." 

Trust me, you'll know when you've arrived. 

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