Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mojave DesArt

I'm not sure this is what Robert Frost had in mind, but it does offer ample proof that road less traveled does indeed make all the difference.

Last week, I was on the Pearblossom Highway (rt. 138) on the north side of the San Bernardino Mountains. I was heading up the backroads for a nighttime car shoot on the Angeles Crest Highway.

Unable to traverse more than 40 miles at a time without a bathroom break, my bladder demanded a pit stop in Littlerock, a hard scrabble town east of Palmdale. I pulled into a Mexican restaurant called Mica's. The hostess directed me to the outhouse behind the main building. As I made my way out the door, I noticed a small alcove. The room was filled with surreal, ultra-religious paintings.

Having concluded my business, I went back inside and queried the young woman with the poor broken english...

"Con su permiso, mi tengo photografias, por favor?"

She couldn't have been more hospitable.

As I perused the dozens of paintings I found I was struck by this particular Escher-like painting. It is a study in overstatement. Note how the bridge of Jesus' nose is made up of....another Jesus. Even the beard of Jesus is made up of smaller, crucified Jesi (multiple for Jesus?).

There's even a Jesus on Jesus' shoulder. And another approaching from the right hand corner wearing a blue robe. I don't even know what to make of the floating eyes above him.

But I do know that everyone I have shown the painting to has had the exact same visceral reaction:

"Jesus Christ!"

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that's exactly what the artist was going after.

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