The Whimsical Art of Burning Man

What’s not to like about this lovely face? Burning Man art often comes with a sense of humor attached. See what’s attached to this face below.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that many of the artists who display their art at Burning Man have a sense of humor. I mean anyone who is willing to brave hundred degree plus weather, unending noise, towering dust storms, minimal bathing and a week of well-used porta potties must have a sense of humor. Right?

I like the word whimsical. It means to be playfully fanciful in an appealing or amusing way. It also means acting in a capricious manner. Both seem to fit Burning Man. Each year I wander around Burning Man with my camera in a totally capricious ramble looking for amusing art. I am never disappointed.

Here’s the body attached to the face above… a suave sphinx.

Art doesn’t get much more whimsical than these sculptures created by Pepe Ozan.

This dog by Pepe Ozan was particularly amusing. My friend Ken Lake, a noted contrarian, immediately climbed on the dog and rode him backward. Imagine trying that at a museum.

I keep coming back to this rabbit in my blogs because he makes me laugh. Isn’t that a OMG expression on his face? There is an annual bunny parade at Burning Man where a thousand or so people put on rabbit costumes and hop around Black Rock City.

Dragons are common at Burning Man… no surprise there. But this guy struck me as more whimsical than ferocious. After dark, his fire-breathing personality takes over, however.

Here’s another sculpture with scary potential that I found humorous. His creator, Diarmaid Harkan, named him Metaluselah but I dubbed him Pitchfork Man.

Certainly a see-through goat with trash in his stomach qualifies as being fanciful. Check out the shadow.

This violin fiddling hare was found in Center Camp, which is always a great place for art. (Photo by Don Green)

This amply endowed Statue of Liberty welcomed visitors to Silicon Village. Apparently her baby default mode was off and she and an ear piece for translating guy speak. Silicon Camp has over 200 members, most of whom come from Silicon Valley.

One day I was wandering around Black Rock City, I found a camp that specialized in photo montages. There must have been a dozen works and each captured a unique slice of Burning Man. Check out this photo carefully. What you see reflects the fun of Burning Man.

And finally, the Peripatetic Bone insisted on being included in this section on whimsical art. He jumped on the nose of my noble steed, Horse with No Name, and declared the horse was a Unicorn. “Art,” he claimed, “is the process of changing the usual into the unique.” I told Bone he looked more Rhino-like that unicorn-like. He said, “Whatever.”

3 comments on “The Whimsical Art of Burning Man

    • Hot indeed. It’s the dust that provides the greatest challenge. It gets in everything: eyes, ears, nose and mouth! Months later we still find it in our van. (grin) As for photography, Burning Man is a photographers Paradise.

  1. Yes. it is hot. Hence the colorful desert wear……grin. Still worth it though to experience the wonders of the art in so many ways.

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