Monster Art In The Desert -> The Metal Wonders Of Galleta Meadows
Sometime in 2007, Dennis Avery had a vision. In fact it was more than a vision, it was a towering image that rose right before his eyes and gripped him in a way he wasn’t expecting. The life-changing visual was a 20-foot Tyrannosaurus Rex sculpted out of metal by an unemployed construction worker in Perris, CA. Dennis saw the beauty from the freeway and suddenly his mind expanded. He imagined a whole creation of these creatures roaming his land in Borrego Springs, bringing back the prehistoric to the present…and free for all to see. It was a genius vision!
It may not have happened exactly like that, but the story is pretty darn close to true. Dennis actually saw that T-Rex and contracted Ricardo Breceda to create his dream in the desert. The result was a partnership that continues to create and inspire to this day. Welcome to the metal wonders of Galleta Meadows!
Paul and I first saw these beauties ~2 years ago. In fact anyone entering Borrego Springs can’t help but see them. The massive welded metal sculptures erupt on both sides of Borrego Springs Road just south of town and sprinkle the landscape for miles going north, offering giant-size visuals of prehistoric animals, wild horses, birds, camels, pigs and a slew of other creations, most of which are based on actual animals that roamed the land in Borrego Springs. There are huge mammoths, giant dinosaurs, a 30-foot eagle and…the latest masterpiece…a 350-foot serpent.
This latest baby is quite the special girl. She was just installed in July, 2011 and snakes her way under the road with one segment and a massive tail showing on the other side of the road from her monstrous front. She took 4 months and $40,000 to create and is the biggest, most impressive sculpture to date. She creates an overwhelming impression and it’s easy to lose the exceptional detail of the work unless you look closely.
Paul and I spent a couple of hours driving around in the desert (most of it on dirt roads) exploring the installation map. Apparently there are ~130 sculptures out here, all of it on Dennis’s private land and all of it completely free to the public. You can even boondock (3-day limit) out here and completely immerse yourself in the art. The harsh desert sun ages many of the sculptures to beautiful shades of brown, and there’s a special piece that speaks to everyone. Few would have had the inspiration to see a vision like this, but Dennis and Ricardo have sculpted a creation that is truely a wonder for everyone to see. I thank you deeply, maestri!