Not that you don’t know your artists… The Wow Report has a sophisticated audience, but this one might stump you…
Kanye West plans to give $10 million dollars to artist James Turrell’s, Roden Crater. It was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, and comes after West visited the legendary artwork in northern Arizona last month. He tweeted:
“Went to visit the James Turrell crater two days ago. This is life changing. We all will live in Turrell spaces.“
West explained in a statement that his contribution will help fund the transformation of the project, located inside an inactive volcano, so that it can be
“experienced and enjoyed for eternity.”
The light and space artist has been working on the project since the 70s and visits to the site have been very limited. Patrons and lucky art world insiders who have been allowed inside the work are asked to not to take any photos. (The ones here are from the Roden Crater website, which you should visit. Whatever yo think of Mr. West, it IS a fascinating, monumental project.)
“In this stage set of geologic time, I wanted to make spaces that engage celestial events in light so that the spaces perform a ‘music of the spheres’ in light.”
According to their website,
“Roden Crater belongs to a tradition of monumental structures that have been built by artists, rulers and priests, ancient and modern. Above-ground observatories for specific celestial events include Maes Howe in Scotland (which predates the pyramids), Newgrange in Ireland, and Abu Simbal in Egypt. Remnants of ancient sites that resemble ‘handmade volconoes,’ large mounds with a depression at the summit, are also scattered around the world. These include Herodium near Jerusalem and Old Sarum in England. In the sixteenth century, the great astronomer Tycho Brahe pioneered ‘naked eye observatories,’ of which the eighteenth-century Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is perhaps the best example. Turrell studied and adapted essential features of the naked-eye observatory in his designs for Roden Crater, where the natural formation recalled these man-made precedents.“
Turrell hopes to open the open the 2.5-mile-wide site to the public within the next five years. He recently launched a $200 million campaign to finish the project as well as fund the development of a cultural hub at the site, which will host artist residencies.
Turrell told the Journal that he’s
“thrilled” to receive West’s gift during a “critical juncture of the project.”
He’s reportedly raised $40 million towards that goal but the WSJ didn’t say whether that included West’s promised $10 million.
(Photos, courtesy Skystone Foundation/James Turrell; via Artsy)