We built Seraphim, a 24-foot-high multi-ton wooden sculpture, in the desert last weekend near Joshua Tree, for BEquinox, the inaugural spring gathering of the Los Angeles Burning Man community.
Four artists adorned the flame vortex with angels representing the four largest cultures of modern L.A. – Latino, African, European and Asian – and participants wrote and painted their dreams, fears, desires and wishes onto salvaged pallet slats that we then screwed and nailed to the outsides of the vortex.
When the structure was almost complete, we secreted “The Human Spirit” – an angel sculpted in steel – inside and then finished walling her up. This weekend, we gathered for BEquinox – nearly 1,000 of us – and enjoyed each others’ art, music, libations and company.
Then we fueled the structure with gasoline, kerosene and lamp oil, lit road flares and put it to the torch.
Flames roared into the gentle desert night, warming and exciting us all, burning away the structure and revealing the surprise – the scorched, warped steel angel twisting inside the howling, wind-driven blaze.
Just a hunch – I think this is the start of a long and marvelous tradition for those around L.A. who burn brightest – in art and spirit as in life.
Huge hugs and thanks to everyone who welcomed me to the crew and made this the best, hardest, most rewarding thing I’ve ever helped build.