Monday, July 6, 2009

Amarillo, Texas

There's dust blowing in off the scorching Texas panhandle, and the smell of spray paint on the wind.

Just west of Amarillo, the landscape gives up any pretense of topographical variety and adopts a Cartesian pancake aspect. And what better place to sink ten vintage Cadillacs nose down in the hardpan?

Located just off I-40, Cadillac Ranch is hard to miss, and hundreds of tourists pull in and stomp out through the dusty wheat field to reach the cars, spray paint in hand. This is public art at its interactive best.

Think of it as America's Stonehenge, with graffiti.

Pretty much everyone who makes the trek paints something; a name, their home town, their dogs' names. And ten minutes later someone paints over it with something new. I find the whole enterprise cool and fun in many different ways.

And it's not just the artistic, body-piercing set. Whole families are out there tagging. That is just so much better than any family vacation I ever took.

I drop to my knees to shoot from a low angle, my butt high in the air, which is enough of a spectacle to stop four Japanese tourists in their tracks. They take turns looking through my camera and then take snapshots with me in situ.

I'm just happy they didn't paint their names on my ass for good measure.


Wendy Lee said...

Did you add to the graffiti?

Paul Souders said...

The pitiful answer, I didn't. I don't have a dog and I already know my name and address. Besides, I do enough self-aggrandizement already.