Multi-coloured ‘Stonehenge’ appears in Las Vegas

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Photo credit: Ugo Rondinone: Seven Magic Mountains, Las Vegas, Nevada, 2016. Photo by Gianfranco Gorgoni. Courtesy of Art Production Fund and Nevada Museum of Art.

If Stonehenge was made in Las Vegas what do think it would look like? If you said multi-coloured and neon you would be correct.

Seven huge 30-foot towers of colourful limestone have appeared in the desert south of Las Vegas. While the sight might be a little startling for drivers heading on Interstate 15 into Sin City, there is an explanation to why these Stonehenge-like have turned up in this corner of Nevada.

Working with the Art Protection Fund and Nevada Museum of Art, Swiss-born artist Ugo Rondinone has created the largest land-based art installations in the US for over 40 years named ‘Seven Magic Mountains’. It has been a labour of love for the artist who has spent almost five years constructing these teetering towers.

Take a half hour journey from downtown Las Vegas and situated in the Ivanpah Valley overlooked by the Ivanpah and New York Mountains, you will find these quirky installations. They will be standing tall in the Nevada desert for the next two years with the Nevada Museum of Art expecting around 16 million vehicles to pass by this work during its lifespan.

Rondinone explains that Seven Magic Mountains “elicits continuities and solidarities between human and nature, artificial and natural, then and now”. It is an extension of the Swiss artist’s long-running interest in natural phenomena and they certainly stand out on the landscape.

“Like my five previous public sculpture projects: the neon rainbows, clay masks, olive trees, scholar rocks and stone figures, the ‘seven magic mountains’ is embedded in the observation of nature and its relation to the human condition,” he added.

David B. Walker, Nevada Museum of Art executive director and chief executive officer, added that the Seven Magic Mountains is an “internationally significant sculpture installation” which helps open the state to “future large-scale, land-based art projects”.

While any trip to Las Vegas includes the staples of the Bellagio foundations, a top class show and a spin of the roulette wheel, take a drive out the desert and this truly fascinating art installation.

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Cover photo credit: Ugo Rondinone: Seven Magic Mountains, Las Vegas, Nevada, 2016. Photo by Gianfranco Gorgoni. Courtesy of Art Production Fund and Nevada Museum of Art.