Wednesday, June 3, 2009

18 Days to Go: Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, Texas

So in thinking about your Christmas ornament, Lightning Field song Nancy, I thought of an Ant Farm interview when they discussed chosing the Route 66 site on Stanley Marsh 3's ranch because the highway was a roadside attraction. Ant Farm made a rubber stamp that said "roadside attraction" on it too. From keychains to rubber stamps? Maybe. Ant Farm also made postcards, T-shirts, and other souvenirs featuring this installation. It's possible!

Ant Farm's Cadillac Ranch, 1974 (photographed in 1977)

A highlight of the article above regarding Mr. Stanley Marsh 3 who commissioned both Ant Farm's work and Smithson's Amarillo Ramp:

"The 62-year old Marsh has had a few interesting run-ins with the law over his brand of enforcement. In 1994, he was accused of threatening an 18-year old with a hammer and penning him inside a chicken coop. He's been sued by a family claiming Marsh tricks teens into working for him after catching them red-handed with one of his signs."

Amarillo Art Center Poster by Doug Michels (showing the original blueprint proposal sent to Stanley Marsh 3 in 1974)

Built in June 1974, Cadillac Ranch is made up of ten Cadillacs ranging from a 1949 Club Coupe to a 1963 Sedan, buried fin-up in a wheat field in Texas. The budget to buy the cars was $3K and they came in under budget. The piece was constructed in four days using a motorized back-hoe and low-tech surveying tools. Doug Michels believes it became popular in 1980 when Bruce Springsteen wrote the song Cadillac Ranch. One other thing to note: the hubcaps are welded down.

Color Selection Restoration drawing by Chip Lord and Doug Michels, 2002

No comments: