Remembering a Folk Art Visionary
This week America lost one of its greatest living folk artists, a man who I had photographed many times, a man who had become my friend. His name was Leonard Knight, and he was the artist who built the monumental work known as Salvation Mountain.
Salvation Mountain is a literal man-made mountain 28 years in the making, covered in half a million gallons of latex paint. What started as a small monument made of dirt and painted cement became, over time, a sprawling adobe and hay-bale mountain complex, with peripheral structures made of telephone poles, tires, and car windows, as well as art cars and sculptures, all painted in a patchwork of stripes and color blocks of whatever paint was