I would have loved to take my fisheye lens inside those structures and look up and see all these things curving in toward the center, but it was not to be. What was the problem? It seems it rained one time or something. But it was still lots of fun to see the fanciful art project:
We heard about the Italian immigrant, Simon Rodia, who devoted all his free time to constructing these things, single-handedly.
I had to stick the camera and my hands through the bars of the fence to get these shots:
There's a lovely community center next to the towers, and they had a nice exhibit of schoolkids' art and showed a perfect 1950s-style documentary on Rodia and his towers. What was 1950s about it? The music (which happened to be the same music used as the "Twilight Zone" theme, but in a different key). The attitude (all about the individualistic vision of the artist and devoid of sentimentality toward the ordinary citizens of his community). Too bad it's not on line. But why don't you drive out to Watts so you can watch it?
I hope you get to see them sometime when you can go inside, but it was worth it just to get this close:
ADDED: Hey! The film is on line. I love YouTube. Watch this now, and let's talk not just about Rodia and his aesthetic, but the aesthetic of the filmmaker:
Thanks to commenter Bearbee for finding that. [Rodia's name is mispronounced "Rodilla" in the film, because someone who assumed it was a Spanish name spelled it phonetically, and then someone who knew it was an Italian name pronounced the Ls.]
And thanks to commenter Bissage for writing this:
(1) Sure, a humble construction worker might have single-handedly created a superb example of non-traditional vernacular architecture and American Naïve art . . . but did he ever knock-up a spacey new-age cokehead star fucker while his wife was dying from cancer?
Did he? Huh? Did he?
*pokes imaginary adversary in the chest*
No! He did not!
(I'll bet that!!! let some air out of his tires. He thinks he’s so big!)
(2) From Wikipedia: Neighborhood children brought pieces of broken glass and pottery to Rodia in hopes they would be added to the project, . . .
Kind of like the perpetual art project that is Althouse.
(3) It turns out Mr. Rodia was an Italian immigrant. Well, that explains everything! Anybody who has lived between Boston and Washington D.C. thinks of one thing immediately when they hear the words “Italian immigrant.” Here it is.
I think not!