The Silver Strand Art Group visited the Watts Towers on Sunday, Oct 20, 2013. The towers were built by the self-taught artist Simon Rodia between 1921 and 1954. The Towers are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and have, along with the Hollywood sign, become one of Los Angeles’ most famous icons. Thanks to Marilee Karlsen for all photographs of the group and the Towers.
The towers, consisting of 17 sculptures, are constructed of structural steel and covered with mortar and adorned with a diverse mosaic of broken glass and seashells. Rodia constructed the towers without machine equipment, scaffolding, bolts, rivets, welds or drawing board.
Detail of the base of one of the towers: not only shells, tiles and rock fragments but broken plates and bowls. The technique is a precursor of New York artist Julian Schnabel’s famous “plate paintings” made in 1978-1986 which made him a star in the art world.