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.
A close up of Claude’s head.
Did you ever imagine that dragon skin would look like this, complete with a little dog?
If only pigs could fly? (Photo by Don Green.)
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.’
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.
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.
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.
Clever, huh. Do you know what it is?
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.
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.
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 piece may set a new standard.The first steps were easy…
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 thoughts on “A Fabulous Dragon Made of Junk and A Very Brainy Kid… Burning Man 2015”
WOW, the first two and the second to last take my breath away~
Neat stuff, Cindy, and ever so creative. –Curt
some people have different creativity…. awesome!
All they need is an opportunity to set it free! –Curt
The dragon is quite marvellous – bet you could spend hours identifying all the found pieces that went into making it.
Absolutely right, AC. But it would be a fun past time. I was amused to work that the artist once worked as a garbage disposal man, which makes an interesting muse, to say the least. The great octopus, El Pulpo Mechanico, and this years magnificent Medusa also have a lot of ‘junk’ incorporated. It is recycling at its finest. –Curt
Thought I’d like to devote my life to finds on the beach but these creations make you realise that every walk could lead to creativity.
Must agree, AC, life is as fascinating as we allow it to be, anywhere, any time… –Curt
I’m just imagining his wife thinking, “Thank the gods you built that dragon and finally got RID of some of that junk you’ve collected over the years…”
He puts his wife to work collecting it. 🙂 –Curt
The imagination of these people is boundless! Such creativity HAS to be admired!
I think it is what happens when the creativity of people is encouraged and supported, GP. I’ve forever admired Athens as an example of what can happen when history and creativity join together at the right moment. I am not claiming Burning Man is Athens, but I feel the same forces are at work. –Curt
Some people are even amazed at themselves when they finally set their minds to doing something, eh?
Often , it seems that the first step is the hardest, GP. –Curt
Love the dragon!
Just pure fun, Sylvia. I came back to visit Claude three times. –Curt
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
Well, who doesn’t want to be a neurotransmitter?…
Great pics. Very cool statues, but like you, I’d prefer to hang out on the outside. 🙂
Who doesn’t want to be a neurotransmitter… spoken like a doctor (grin). And thanks, Carrie. As for hanging out on the outside, true. But we both also have a tendency, it seems to me, to jump in feet first. –Curt
I think you’re right about that!
I never knew Burning Man had so much interesting sculpture.
It goes on and on, Dave. It’s the main reason why I go. –Curt
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.
Laughing here Alison. I stayed off of the stairway thingy. I’d rather risk my limbs out backpacking. But it did look like fun. –Curt
My favorite is the brain child… What a great place to visit… Love it…
The Brainchild was possibly the strangest, most imaginative piece out there. I always enjoy revisiting Burning Man when I write my blogs, Lori. –Curt
Wow, wow and WOW. Of course the Canadian goose is my top pick. How clever to use the two countries pennies!
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
Gung Hay Fat Choy Curt! It’s Chinese New Year and i am a Dragon, so these dragons of yours see pretty special.
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. 🙂
Those dragons would scare any scam vanity publishers, I am sure.
Indeed, Gerard! 🙂 –Curt
Hey! There she is — Penny! It’s even more wonderful than I imagined. They’re all great, but I do love that goose.
Glad you liked her, Linda. I’m pretty sure that Penny would like you. 🙂 Curt
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
Now there’s a fun niche occupation!
I can’t even say which of these is my favorite as they all are just spectacular.
The mermaid certainly is captivating.
What wonderful imagination all round. Thank you.
Can you imagine the incredible number of hours that go into producing these, JoHanna? Just gathering the pieces would take weeks! –Curt
It really is inspiring.
Claude 36 years. Sirena the mermaids Skelton has been around for 30 years until summer of 2015. I forced my dad to spend 3 months everyday pounding over 600 pieces of silver ware and sodering them to create her 5 foot long tail. The flying pig was a 8 month long creation.
Wow, Tasha! What an amazing amount of work with some obviously wonderful results. I fell in love with the creatures. Thanks for commenting. 🙂 –Curt
To answer your question about pigs flying: http://admeter.usatoday.com/commercials/doritos-pigs-fly-super-bowl-commercial/ 🙂
Checked it out… 🙂
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