Burning Man does whimsical well, as illustrated by this giant flamingo with its large purple boa.
Surrounded by a white picket fence and standing on fake grass, the 40-foot-tall Phoenicopterus Rex brought to Burning Man by Josh Zubcoff from San Francisco could be seen from almost anywhere on the Playa. Phoenicopterus, BTW, is the scientific name for flamingo, and in this case, a heck of a big bird. Peggy and I have met many of its smaller cousins in the South, both the beautiful wild kind you find standing around on one leg in swamps, and the more domesticated plastic kind you find adorning patches of grass on many a home. Our daughter, Natasha, loved these birds and decorated her room with them briefly as a teenager. I don’t remember whether that was before or after her Goth stage when she painted her walls black. I gave the room wide berth then, realizing that I might be painted as well.
A pair of the real birds in Florida.
Part of the popularity of theses amazing birds is their ability to perform contortionists acts. Number 48 was a master. How’s that for taking a nap?
A pair of small plastic flamingos came by to visit Phoenicopterus Rex, who was back-lit by the sun but still very pink. I thought the top hats were a nice addition.
Phoenicopterus Rex lit up at night.
The Flamingo was just one of several appropriately weird sculptures with a sense of humor found at Burning Man in 2017. I’ve included several for your entertainment, today.
It seems appropriate that we should go from a giant flamingo to a tiny dinosaur. This not too scary Tyrannosaurus Rex, was part of the Free Range Animal Automata Menagerie created by Edward Crell from Sonoma, California.
The menagerie also included a blue hippo, which reminded me of a mailbox…
And a cat that was busy fishing. The automata part in the menagerie’s title came from the fact that each of the sculptures had a rope attached that you could pull to make the animals do things. In this case, kitty’s paw went down to catch the fish.
Here’s a fish that kitty best leave alone. Sharks are bad enough when they are calm. This guy was keyed up.
Wes Waltenspeil of Reno, Nevada created the shark. Here’s a close up of its eye.
You might wonder why this colorful pyramid created by Dicapria ( a one-name person) out of Long Beach California made my list of weird art…
It was certainly colorful…
But take a closer look. The 12-foot tall pyramid was made up of a hundred thousand Gummy Bears. I might say ‘chew on that thought’ except the Gummy Bears were made out of acrylic and metal.
In returning to the Big Bird theme, this 150 foot wide 45 foot tall giant crane named Coco was built by the Crimson Collective out of Los Angeles and done in origami style. In addition to its visual impact, it provided welcome shade on the Playa.
I’d call this fellow Pegasus except for its fairy-wand, unicorn-type horn. It was an impressive beast. I don’t know who the artist is.
Here’s the Pegasus Unicorn at night. Check out the totally out of control curly-haired tail.
‘It’s a chicken and egg situation’ according to Andrea Greenlees of Surbiton, UK, who created this sculpture. I’m not sure it answered the age old question of which came first. Burners were invited to climb up the ladder and enter the old girl through her tail-end and frolic among the eggs, however. Maybe the experience provided them with inspiration to answer the question.
It wouldn’t be Burning Man without a few aliens wandering around, even blow-up aliens.
The back of the alien at night.
And finally, proof positive of the dead aliens that were found after the UFO crash in Roswell! It’s likely that this fellow was on loan from Area 51.
NEXT BLOG: I intend to look at some of the art pieces that were built with the 2017 theme, Radical Ritual, in mind. Peggy and I are traveling again, this time to Connecticut to visit with our son and his family, however, so blog work will depend on available time.