This piece of art rocks

From a distance, they look like neon anomalies against the dun- coloured scrubland.

Upon approach, the points quickly grow bigger, brighter, weirder, like a roadside attraction made by an atomically enlarged infant - seven totem-pole stacks of limestone boulders, the rocks painted in Kool-Aid shades so intense they were sometimes hard to look at in the full sunlight.

This is the project Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone has been working on for more than five years. "Seven Magic Mountains" is his largest public art installation and one of the most ambitious pieces of his career.

The work is located in the tiny road-stop town of Jean, Nevada, about 50km from Las Vegas.

It officially went on view last Wednesday, and is one of the largest land-art pieces created in the United States in the past 40 years, in a part of the West that defined the land-art movement beginning in the 1960s.

The work's creation was overseen by the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, along with the Art Production Fund, the New York public-art organisation.

The sculptures, which will remain in place for two years, were financed mostly by private and corporate donors.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 16, 2016, with the headline 'This piece of art rocks'. Print Edition | Subscribe