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March 21, 2006

Love and Paint


Rising up out of the desert near Niland California is Leonard Knight's whimsical vision of paradise: waterfalls, flowers, streets of gold, fields of rich green grass and towering pines. It virtually blankets a small hill and still, he continues to build.


This world of his has an unquestionably surreal quality, not just because it's made out of adobe and paint, but also because almost everything is constructed out of bible verses and Christian catch-phrases. "God is love" is painted everywhere. And though this sugary coating is interesting, I personally find the darker bits more intriguing. For example, his sculpted "love" looks like it might hurt if we were to touch it. And one tunnel seems to be filled with tremendous neurons (does Knight unknowingly feel trapped inside his own brain?).

Of course, there is no correct interpretation for his world. One thing's for certain... almost everyone who meets him utterly enjoys him (and his free postcards). So if you're ever in Niland, stop by and say hi. At the very least, take a look at some of the photos below (you owe it to Knight).



(click photos to enlarge)

Reader comment (from boingboing): Bart says,

We've gone out to Salvation Mountain several times, each time showing more friends and family what Leonard has done. That entire southeast region of the Salton Sea has many interesting stops including Slab City (snowbirds and squatters community on a deserted military base), Bombay Beach (half underwater) and the numerous bird preserves (one dedicated by Sonny Bono). Quite an interesting place. I recently snapped a bunch of photos while out there.

Salvation Mountain – Photos
Mountain Man – Photos II
Salvation Mountain – Photos III
Interview with Knight – 1998
Salvation Mountain – QTVR
Previous outsider art posts

Salv13 a

Salv_10 b

a. Download marker for Google Earth.
b. Knight has so far used 100,000 gallons of paint.

March 21, 2006 | Permalink


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» Salvation Mountain from Boing Boing
Tinselman has an entry about Salvation Mountain, a desert hill near the Salton Sea in California that's being continuously decorated with brilliantly colored things by a man named Leonard Knight. Rising up out of the desert near Niland California is Le... [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 21, 2006 7:44:42 PM


I hope someday I leave an artistic impact on the world...only my medium hasn't been invented yet... stand back world! I will someday be the world's greatest photographer, dealing only in holography!

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Mar 21, 2006 4:50:20 PM

Make love not art.

Posted by: Mark | Mar 21, 2006 7:06:35 PM

Bravo, Mr. Knight!

Posted by: Alli | Mar 22, 2006 4:12:55 AM

I like that line "does Knight unknowingly feel trapped inside his own brain?"

Robyn - why did you change the invisible writing, from "is an intersting person" to "is Robyn Miller"? (!)

Posted by: Mark | Mar 23, 2006 1:35:47 AM

Mark... what invisible writing?

Posted by: Robyn | Mar 23, 2006 10:10:20 AM

Yes, of course . . . .

Posted by: Mark | Mar 23, 2006 1:05:05 PM

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