If the twenty-seven sculptures on the private lands of Galleta Meadows in Borrego Springs were not enough for you, Ricardo Breceda has added a grasshopper and a scorpion. These two join a giant sloth, camels, saber tooth cat, gold miner, farm workers, a dragon, and various prehistoric creatures in the sand surrounding the small town of Borrego Springs. (See my two previous posts.)
They are interesting. But the project seems now over the top. There is no glue holding the variety together except maybe the “now I think I’ll make this” philosophy of the artist. Not that children and adults don’t seek out the sculptures or enjoy walking across sand to see the giant creations up close. But this is a town which fought the erecting of the towers for electricity transport, the Sunrise Power Link, and it is home to Anza-Borrego State Park which preserves the natural beauty of the desert. And spring brings the colors of wild flowers.
There is nothing natural in metal sculpture–not a problem in itself. Public art exists all over the world. If you have land to put up large welded metal pieces and a creative impulse to populate the desert with the good, the bad, and the ugly to silhouette the skyline, no one will stop you. But the “more is more” attitude goes against the subtle beauty of the desert. I can’t find a good answer to the question, “Why?”
Of all the creatures from horses to scorpions, I found the saguaro cactus the least admirable. So we have a dragon which never existed, a World War II jeep to remind us of destruction, and a cactus which does not grow in this desert.
Isn’t that enough?