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Simon Rodia

The Avant/Garde Diaries: Aaron Rose & Watts Towers

by Paddy Johnson on August 8, 2012
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Objects tell their own stories. Their materials reveal details about place, the form tells us about the maker. Perhaps there is no better example of this than The Watts Towers in California, a series of seventeen spindly structures that look like radio towers built by aliens. Close up, it’s easy to see the details of artist Simon Rodia’s lifelong obsession: streams of countless bottles, seashells, and other bits of refuse carefully tiled into a web of arches, loops, and stems. He called the work “Nuestro Pueblo”, Spanish for “our town”.

The Watts Towers are the subject of The Avant/Garde Diaries latest short featuring filmmaker Aaron Rose. Rose, an ex-gallerist turned documentary filmmaker explains that his attraction to Rodia stems from his own interest in art makers slightly outside the mainstream purview.

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