Slab City, CA– Just east of the Salton Sea and an hour and a half from Palm Springs, Salvation Mountain rises out of the desert tundra. An explosion of color, a vibrant declaration interrupts the tan desert expanse of Slab City.
Salvation Mountain’s summit is over 50 feet high, it’s base, 150 feet wide and was crafted over decades. An amalgamation of straw, clay, over 100,000 gallons of donated paint along with the sweat and dedication of Leonard Knight- the landmark has been declared “a folk art site worthy of preservation and protection” by the Folk Art Society of America.
It’s outsider art at it’s most committed.
Realized by a man who lived at the site, for 26 years in the back of an old white fire truck without running water, electricity or other modern comforts. Inspired by an impulse to spread the message of God’s love, Knight’s life’s work has allowed him to realize his vision and through it, he expressed hope that all people everywhere will show more love and compassion for their fellow man. Though he passed away at 82 this past February, his message and work remain.
Derek Fudesco (Cave Singers, Murder City Devils, Pretty Girls Make Graves) and Andrea Zollo (Deep Creep, Pretty Girls Make Graves) explore, above.
Text by Aja Pecknold