A Seven Ton Coyote and Other BRC Wonders… Burning Man 2013

Coyote sculpture at Burning Man 2013.

Caught in the early morning sun, Coyote raises his head and howls. Note the guy sitting beneath his chin. Much of the art at Burning Man is designed to be climbed on. Large helium balloons stretch off to the right.

I talked to a coyote once. I was hiking on the American River Parkway in Sacramento when I saw one disappear into the brush. I froze. A couple of minutes later he came back out and looked at me. I remained still and he continued to stare. Suddenly he raised his head up and gave a Coyote greeting, “Yip, yip, yee.” Translated loosely, it meant, “Why are you behaving so weirdly?” I raised my head and responded, “Yip, yip, yee.”

I don’t know exactly what I said but he sat down and howled again. I sat down and did likewise. Thus our conversation began. It went on for about fifteen minutes before we ran out of things to say, got up and headed off on in different directions. The experience had been close to magical.

I suspect my behavior would have been different had the coyote been 25 feet tall and weighed seven tons. Fortunately, Bryan Tedrick’s coyote sculpture at Burning Man this year was made of steel and not likely to eat anyone. (Burners were welcome to rest in his belly, however. That is they were until too many fell off.)

Below are photos of Coyote and several other works of art at Burning Man 2013 I considered among my favorites.

Coyote at Black Rock City.

Another early morning view of Coyote. (Photo by Tom Lovering.)

Coyote and the Man. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Coyote with people in his stomach shown along with the Man. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Cargo Youth Spacecraft at Burning Man 2013

I really liked this UFO called Cargo Youth Spacecraft, which was created by Dana Albany working with youth groups in the Bay Area. It was created with 50% recycled materials.

Cargo Youth Spacecraft at Burning Man 2013.

Tom Lovering took a fun photo of the Cargo Youth Spacecraft with the Man’s flying saucer. (Photo by Tom Lovering.)

BELIEVE at Black Rock City 2013.

Big words created by Laura Kimpton and Jeff Schomberg have become an annual treat at Burning Man. Past words have included Mom, Ego, Love and Oink. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Tom caught one of his early morning shots of BELIEVE. (Photo by Tom Lovering.)

Tom caught one of his early morning shots of BELIEVE. (Photo by Tom Lovering.)

BELIEVE at Black Rock City 2013

BELIEVE at night.

Art sculpture Drift at Burning Man 2013

I found what looked like neurons slipping across the Playa. This was the Drifts Sculpture by Michael Christian.

Drift at Black Rock City 2013.

A close up of Drift.

Here we have a Canadian Goose made out of 100,000 pennies.

Here we have Penny the Goose made out of 100,000 Canadian pennies in honor of the last year the Canadian penny will be in circulation.

Penny the Goose at Burning Man 2013

Penny takes off.

Open hands art piece in from of the Center Camp Cafe at Burning Man 2013.

This set of hands created by  David Gertler was located just in front of the Center Camp Cafe.

I liked the simple lines of this lotus-like sculpture. The Truth is Beauty sculpture can be seen in the distance.

I liked the simple lines of this lotus-like sculpture. The Truth is Beauty sculpture can be seen in the distance.

Zonotopia on the Playa at Burning Man 2013.

This unique structure was part of Zonotopia created by artist Rob Bell for Burning Man 2013. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

One of Tom's favorite sculptures was You Are the Key. (Photo by Tom Lovering.)

One of Tom’s favorite sculptures was You Are the Key. (Photo by Tom Lovering.)

Peggy, a crafty woman, liked this knit house. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Peggy, a crafty kind of woman, liked this crochet house. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

A close up.

A close up.

Xylophage created by the Flaming Lotus Girls for Burning Man 2013.

The Flaming Lotus Girls have been producing quality art at Burning Man for many years. This year’s theme was named Xylophage and included the large burned out stump, this gnome and several humongous mushrooms. Everything, of course, flames at night.

Flaming Lotus Girl's Sculpture at Burning Man 2013.

One of the mushrooms in the Flaming Lotus Girls’ sculpture.

This set of stacked cubes seemed to reach high into the sky.

This set of stacked cubes seemed to reach high into the sky.

"Come over here and catch them from this angle," Tom urged.

“Come over here and catch them from this angle,” Tom urged.

This is only a very small sample of the art found at Burning Man. Later I will visit the regional art but next I want to take you out to what is always one of Burning Man’s top attractions: The Temple. It is truly a sacred area.

From a Sinking Ship to a Huge EGO… Burning Man 2012 Art

Whimsical always wins me over. This is one cool cat… or is that cat woman. I had to travel far out on the Playa to find the cat sculptures.

Face it; I am frustrated. It is impossible to cover all of the art featured at Burning Man. In fact with over 300 works of art scattered over the seven square miles that constitutes Black Rock City, it was impossible for me to even get around and admire each piece. Maybe if I had devoted 24/7… but Burning man provides many distractions.

All I can offer is a tantalizing sample… and a recommendation: if you enjoy this art and you have never been to Burning Man, put the event on your schedule for the future.

A final note before I jump into photographs: this year featured regional art from groups that are organizing local Burning Man activities from around the US and world. I will cover this art, and its fiery demise, in my next blog.

Another photo of the denizens of the outer Playa at Burning Man. One gets a sense of how far out they are by the lack of people in the background.

Imagine cycling across the desert and seeing in the distance a partially sunken 16th Century Spanish galleon. It’s almost unbelievable but at Burning Man you learn to expect the unusual. Artist Matthew Schultz headed up this project.

What amazed me even more was the attention to detail, right down to the masthead. The story behind the sunken ship is that it crashed into the pier.

Further attention to detail, plus a sense of humor, was found below decks. Note the long fingers and the modern coffee cup.

The pier, without the ship, was a very popular sculpture in 2011.

It is difficult to be an artist, or a writer… or even a blogger for that matter, without a little ego. This is a big one.

Since the artist, Laura Kimpton, and I are both somewhat dyslexic, I thought I would reverse the E.

Replicas of 10,000 trophies went into creating EGO.

Wall Street, photographed here from the Man, was another major installation at Burning Man 2012. Otto Von Danger is the artist.

Buildings were given such names as the Bank of UnAmerica and Chaos Manhattan. The Greek front is a replica of the NYSE.

Like in many urban settings, graffiti was rampant. But we can all dream our financial institutions will become a little less greedy and a little more responsible. Wall Street was burned but not the American flag.

“It takes a village…” (Photo by Tom Lovering)

I found this large Praying Mantis and several buggy companions out on the far Playa. My bike, Horse with No Name, waits patiently. (I trust you will recognize the song “I rode through the desert on a horse with no name.”)

This sculpture by artist Kate Radenbush is called Star Seed. I thought of it as ‘fantasy arising from the dust.’ And why not. Participants are expected to put their own twist on Burning Man art.

I did wonder whether we are seeding the stars or they are seeding us.

If you look closely, you will note that this man’s skin is made completely of watch parts. I also liked the see through quality as you look up at the sky over Black Rock City.

Another of the wonderfully quirky works of art found out on the Playa at Burning Man 2012. (Photo by Tom Lovering.)

One sculpture featured a series of quotes. I found these two by Albert Einstein and Danny Kaye particularly appropriate for closing my blog on Burning Man 2012 art.