The Art Of Burning Man 2014— From Praying Mantis to LOVE

Giant praying mantis at Burning Man 2014. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

This giant praying mantis was one of many art works featured at Burning Man 2014.

The praying mantis appeared out of a dust storm with wings flapping. He was one big guy. Think humongous. Think scary. Peggy and I had to go check him out. It was art— and art is our primary reason for attending Burning Man.

When you arrive at Burning Man, the greeters give you a map that shows where most of the art is. The 2014 art map showed 233 installations scattered across the Playa and throughout  Black Rock City. Since weather had delayed us by two days, there was no way we could see it all. So we decided to go “random.” We would wander around and check out whatever caught our attention. Following are a few examples.

Bird with wings lowered and raised by pedals. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Much of Burning Man art is interactive. This bird immediately attracted Peggy. She climbed up the ramp and into its stomach. The bird’s wings were designed to be raised or lowered by pedal power.  Peggy went to work. A crowd urged her on.

Large bird sculpture at Burning Man 2014. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Another view.

Geometric sculpture at Burning Man 2014. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

The geometric lines of this sculpture caught my attention.

Geometric Sculpture and Man at Burning Man 2014. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Shooting from a different angle, I caught the Man in the background.

Much art at Burning Man incorporates a sense of humor. I called this guy big ears. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Much art at Burning Man incorporates a sense of humor. I called this guy Big Ears. He was wired for sound. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Love letters in the dust at Burning Man 2014. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Love is big at Burning Man. (grin) The Embrace sculpture can be seen in the distance through the E.

Peggy caught this interesting reverse perspective on the love letters. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Peggy caught this interesting reverse perspective on the love letters. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Big O in Love sculpture at Burning Man 29014. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

The big O in Love was hard to resist.

This sculpture reminded me of a Hollywood set piece.

This sculpture reminded me of a Hollywood set piece.

Climbing up a sculpture at Burning Man 2014. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Burners love any sculpture you can climb. Often, as in this case, climbing is encouraged.

Wind operated kinetic sculpture at Burning Man 2014. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Wind operated this kinetic sculpture.

These cubes created the illusion of climbing far into the sky. (Photo by Don Green.)

These cubes created the illusion of climbing far into the sky. (Photo by Don Green.)

Alien at Burning Man 2014. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

For the past several years, strange alien creatures have been found far out on the Playa near the perimeter fence.

NEXT BLOG: Wandering around Black Rock City.

41 comments on “The Art Of Burning Man 2014— From Praying Mantis to LOVE

  1. That last picture looks like me after a long day.

    Great stuff! I think it would be worth it to take a trip to see Burning Man just for the potential fiction fodder it would give me!

  2. Amazing. I had no idea there was so much elaborate sculpture there. I’m guessing that these pieces were created specifically for Burning Man. I’ve long thought it would be fun to attend. Thanks to your posts I now want to go more than ever.

    • You are right, Bill. These sculptures are created for Burning Man. Some are burned, such as Embrace, but others such as the Mantis, end up in communities on permanent display. –Curt

  3. The interactive art is always a wonderful surprise. I have to admit, though, that pedaling the bird to make the wings fly was quite the challenge! I don’t think we would have lifted off at the rate I was going….grin. Peggy

  4. Really love all of these but if I have to pick a favorite, it would be the Cubes in the sky..So creative & beautiful..
    I see why so many people flock here each year, you can fill your artistic tank to last until the next BM
    🙂

  5. Did you see any correspondence between “Big Ears” and African tribal masks? I certainly did. And the praying mantis looks like he’s engaged in a little preying. I really liked him — maybe the most. Well, except for the kinetic sculpture that looks like Joan Miro meets a midwestern water tower.

    • Big ears could have definitely served as a tribal mask. Had he shown up in a remote jungle he might have been worshipped. Especially if he started shooting fire. Loved your “Joan Miro meets a midwestern water tower” description. As for Mantis, he really was partially hidden by a dust storm and looked quite scary. –Curt

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