Last Sunday I took a long drive down to the hot dusty desert city of Joshua Tree to visit one of the hidden artistic wonders- the Noah Purifoy Museum of Assemblage Art. I happened to read about this on a Westways magazine and it sparked my curiosity, and added to my list of artistic treasure hunts.
Noah Purifoy was a Los Angeles based artist who spent the last fifteen years of his life in the hot desert town of Joshua Tree collecting all kinds of junk and fashioning them into curious but fascinating sculpture pieces which he lay all over ten acres of his property as part of the Hogh Desert Test Sites Art Projects. (www.highdeserttestsites.com/hdts).Much of the sculptural pieces make references to his African American heritage, his childhood years in the poverty stricken Alabama hometown in the early years before the pivotal Civil Rights Movement eradicated segregation and reduced racism to a degree, some even imbued with social and political statements about the latter and others including consumerism, excess, and poverty. Some pieces were playful and fun while others bore disturbing and tragic reminders of one of America’s greatest sins against humanity. While some pieces were titled there were others that aren’t, meant to invite viewers to come up with their own interpretations.
Enjoy some pics I’ve collected from the site, but I think it’s better you go experience it in person, as with any works of art. For more info and directions visit NoahPurifoy.com.