Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Watts Towers, Los Angeles, Feb. 2006
The Watts Towers are amazing sculptures located in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. I'd read about them in 1988 or so, in Metropolitan Home magazine, back when they were neglected and in danger of disintegrating. They'd been built by a man named Simon Rodia, an Italian tile cutter, over a period of more than 30 years, from 1921 to 1955. The tall spirals of these sculptures twist into the sky, inlaid with everything from broken glass to seashells to crockery to small toys. They cast fabulous shadows.
I visited the towers with my friends Gerry and Christopher, my hosts during my California visit. They had no idea where I was taking them when I suggested we visit these outdoor artworks in Watts -- I think they were pretty skeptical. But when they saw them, they agreed that the Watts Towers, which are now the centerpiece of a city arts center, are remarkable and entirely unique.