A Fabulous Dragon Made of Junk and A Very Brainy Kid… Burning Man 2015

 Gabe Zanotto's Dragon at Burning Man 2015

How can you not love Claude the Dragon. Check out his chest made of old shovels.

I had to pet Claude and call him sir. What else do you do when you meet up with a ferocious fire-breathing dragon that hails from Northern California and is made primarily of junk? “Would you like to crawl inside?” his creator, Gabe Zanotto asked. I could hear Claude’s digestive juices roiling around inside. “Um, sure,” I replied, sticking my head briefly inside the door. Too claustrophobic I thought quickly and returned to admiring him from the outside. I also had to check out a flying pig and a mermaid.

Claude the Dragon at Burning Man 2015

A close up of Claude’s head.

Did you ever imagine that dragon skin would look like this, complete with a little dog.

Did you ever imagine that dragon skin would look like this, complete with a little dog?

If only pigs could fly...

If only pigs could fly? (Photo by Don Green.)

I was told that the spoons on this lovely mermaids back came off of Craig's List, the same place my Burning Man Ticket came from.

I was told that the spoons on this lovely mermaid’s back came off of Craig’s List, the same place my Burning Man Ticket came from.

The Brain Child seemed a little strange to me but I had to admire the creativity of Michael Christian from Berkeley, California. And gradually, as I looked at the kid’s big feet, he grew on me. “I love celebrating the inquisitive spirit of play and exploring the plurality of forms that can be expressed through biologically inspired shapes and patterns found in nature,” Christian said in describing his sculpture. Burners were invited to climb around in the ‘brain’ and serve as ‘neurotransmitters.’

Brainy child sculpture at Burning Man 2015

I really admired the creativity that went into this sculpture. I suspect my size 14 feet looked similar when I was this kid’s age.

Brainchild sculpture at Burning Man 2015

Another view. The person on the right provides an idea of the sculpture’s size.

Given all of the sculptures at Burning Man, there is no way I can feature all of them, or for that matter, even find all of them, which I have mentioned before. Anyway here are several more sculptures I enjoyed.

Several beautifully carved wood sculptures including this Easter Island lookalike were located together. There was also a Statue of Liberty.

Several beautifully carved wood sculptures, including this Easter Island lookalike, were located together.

Another perspective.

Its face.

A giant squid by Barry Crawford of Elko, Nevada. Cranks around the edges allowed Burners to move the tentacles. Take a look at its eye.

A giant squid by Barry Crawford of Elko, Nevada. Cranks around the edges allowed Burners to move the tentacles. Take a look at its eye.

Squid eye made from vegetable steamer at Burning Man

Clever, huh. Do you know what it is?

I would have included this cat for its face. The neck guaranteed it.

I would have included this cat for its face. The neck guaranteed it.

This is definitely a New Orleans Alligator brought by the NOLA camp. In case there is any doubt, check out the beads. I am thinking Mardi Gras.

This is definitely a New Orleans alligator brought by the NOLA camp. In case there is any doubt, check out the beads. I am thinking Mardi Gras.

Did Alice of Wonderland take the wrong pill? And since when has Alice worn pasties? (Photo by Don Green.)

Did Alice of Wonderland take the wrong pill? Maybe not. Since when has Alice worn pasties? (Photo by Don Green.)

Looked at one way this might have been a sapling. What I saw was Bugs Bunny,

Looked at one way, this might have been a sapling. What I saw was Bugs Bunny.

Horned wolf at Burning Man 2015

A horned wolf and a feathered dinosaur are held down by sand bags so they won’t be blown over by the Black Rock Desert’s persistent wind.

Much of the art at Burning Man is designed to be interactive. This pice may set a new standard.

Much of the art at Burning Man is designed to be interactive. This piece may set a new standard.The first steps were easy…

I thought I'd conclude with Penny the Goose whose front and back is covered with thousands of pennines, Canadian on one side and America on the other.

I thought I’d conclude with Penny the Goose whose front and back are covered with thousands of pennies (120,000), Canadian on one side and America on the other.

NEXT BLOG: We are going to visit a Buddhist Temple built for Burning Man by Taiwan, a unique prairie church, and a few other structures built out on the Playa.

 

49 comments on “A Fabulous Dragon Made of Junk and A Very Brainy Kid… Burning Man 2015

  1. These are absolutely phenomenal — not only the ideas for the sculptures but also the execution!!! Would not want to climb inside any of them, but glad you took pics and shared. I’m thinking that eyeball of the squid is the same steamer basket I have in my kitchen. Wait a minute. I better check to see if it’s still there.

    • Peggy didn’t go this year, Rusha, due to just coming back from England, but seeing the photos makes her wish she did. There is always just so much to see and do. As for the steamer basket, you are absolutely right. I use ours all of the time. 🙂 –Curt

  2. Another fabulous collection of sculptures Curt. I love the creativity if not always the aesthetic. Faves from this lot are the dragon and the goose, the easter island man and the stairway thingy.
    Alison

    • The goose, BTW, Sue has now found a temporary home in Northern California helping bring a sense of humor back to a community that was ravaged by Northern California’s massive fires last year. –Curt

    • And back at you! I think the dragons are special as well. And obviously a lot of Burning Man artists think so, given the number of dragons that show up in the Black Rock Desert every year, Kayti. 🙂

  3. Claude is brilliant! So very many dragons, and I am in love with all of them. But just look at Claude’s face, and his horn, his shovels, his rooster’s comb, and his eyes…I’m in love.

    Don’s table and chair portrait is gorgeous! I’m wondering if the woman had another taking photos of her, or if she asked for a copy. If it were me up on that chair I would like a portrait. Because, obviously, you wouldn’t catch me in pasties ever again… ha ha!

    Speaking of climbing onto a chair: how lovely that so much of the art is intended to be touched and climbed upon. The heart, the huge letters, the wooden wobbly stairs, the mutant vehicles, the insides of dragons. This place is ecstasy for artists and art enthusiasts. I can see why it is the art that draws you. Indeed, what else is there, really? It seems like everything at Burning Man can be defined as art.

    • So many great dragons, Crystal, but you are absolutely right. Claude has the most personality. I am sure the woman had another photo being taken. As for pasties, there is an old character named Pastie Dan who roams Black Rock City and the Center Cafe offering free pasties to one and all. There is always a line of women waiting to be decorated. What an occupation. Dan even has his own website. Burning Man places a large emphasis on creating art that people can interact with. Most of their grants go to such pieces. Well, there are a few other things… dozens. 🙂 –Curt

  4. Hi My Name is Tasha Zanotto I am Gabe the dragon masters Daughter… (Thank you universe) and I can tell you first hand my dad’s brain should be used in science because he has such an incredible perception to everything! I work with him and most of the time I’m thinking NOT SURE about this!!!! but then Im like… OH! He has been working all my 36 years on Claude and sharing for the last 22 years. I go every event because peoples reaction are so much Soul food! and thats is why my dad goes to events! Over 500 days worth of shows and still no pot to piss in but his Soul is Full and thats better than a pot to piss in! Thank you so much for taking these amazing photos and sharing with People! Much LOVE!

    • Love right back to you Tasha. Your dad (and you and family) have made a wonderful contribution to the world. It is both my honor and privilege to write about and share photos of the wonderfully creative work that goes on at Burning Man. Please give my best to Gabe. –Curt

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