Ridgway, Colorado
May 15
A sometimes artist and photographer, sometimes I write too.  


Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 24, 2008 10:49AM

celebrating color diversity

Rate: 28 Flag


ten caddys


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to my friends and family here on OS! (Yes, I consider many here to be part of my extended family.) A visual gift for you, one of my own favorite set of images from the Cadillac Ranch outside of Amarillo, Texas. Please enjoy the feast. It is, in fact, a concurrent metaphor for the OS experience: People flung far and wide have come together, mostly unknown in many ways to each other, to create a beautiful thing that has some elements of random funk or chaos but mostly results in exquisite beauty.






pink beauty


golden shaft


an evolving project


if you can read this


all images copyright © 2007 by barry b. doyle • all rights reserved





From the Wikipedia article about the Cadillac Ranch:


Cadillac Ranch is a public art installation and sculpture in Amarillo, Texas, U.S. It was created in 1974 by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels, who were a part of the art group Ant Farm, and it consists of what were (when originally installed during 1974) either older running used or junk Cadillac automobiles, representing a number of evolutions of the car line (most notably the birth and death of the defining feature of early Cadillacs; the tail fin) from 1949 to 1963, half-buried nose-first in the ground, at an angle corresponding to that of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. The piece is a statement about the paradoxical simultaneous American fascinations with both a "sense of place" — and roadside attractions, such as The Ranch itself — and the mobility and freedom of the automobile.

Cadillac Ranch is currently located at 35°11′14″N 101°59′13.4″W. It was originally located in a wheat field, but in 1997 the installation was quietly moved by a local contractor two miles (three kilometers) to the west, to a cow pasture along Interstate 40, in order to place it further from the limits of the growing city. One of the laborers on the relocation project was cult figure and Amarillo native Brian Deneke; one of many local youths who worked for Stanley Marsh 3 on various art projects at the time. Both sites belong to the local millionaire Stanley Marsh 3, the patron of the project. Marsh is well known in the city for long time patronage of artistic endeavors including the "Cadillac Ranch", Floating Mesa, "Amarillo Ramp" a work of well known land artist Robert Smithson, and a series of fake traffic signs throughout the city known collectively as the "Dynamite Museum".

Cadillac Ranch is visible from the highway, and though it is located on private land, visiting it (by driving along a frontage road and entering the pasture by walking through an unlocked gate) is tacitly encouraged. In addition, writing graffiti on or otherwise spray-painting the vehicles is also encouraged, and the vehicles, which have long since lost their original colors, are wildly decorated. The cars are periodically repainted various colors (once white for the filming of a television commercial, another time pink in honor of Stanley's wife Wendy's birthday , and yet another time all 10 cars were painted flat black to mark the passing of Ant Farm artist Doug Michel's) or simply to provide a fresh canvas for future visitors. The cars were briefly "restored" to their original colors by the motel chain Hampton Inn in a public relation sponsored series of Route 66 landmark restoration projects. The new paint jobs and even the plaque commemorating the project lasted less than 24 hours without fresh graffiti.

Cadillac Ranch has appeared in American popular culture media. A tribute to the Cadillac Ranch was featured in the Walt Disney and Pixar film Cars. The fictional town of Radiator Springs sits at the edge of an area referenced on a map as the "Cadillac Range", and throughout the movie, rock formations shaped like the upended cars can be seen as a horizon backdrop. Much of the film's plot deals with the dying towns along Route 66. Cadillac Ranch was also featured in a Bruce Springsteen song on his 1980 album The River. Cadillac Ranch is also the inspiration for a song performed by Christian Rock band Family Force 5 called "Cadillac Phunque". It can also be seen in "King of the hill" There is also a song called "Cadillac Ranch" by the late John Stewart, on his album "Rough Sketches", which is about Route 66.


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A lovely, inspiring collection of images Barry. I remember when the cars were newly placed.......What a transformation!!!!
This is fascinating and oddly beautiful. Good metaphor and Merry Christmas!
Cool! I didn't realize that the cars were regularly repainted.
Thanks for visiting guys, glad to have a respite from work to get something posted on OS, appropriate that it is dedicated to friends.

Stella, the dessert tonight will be simple, lemon raspberry cake with a dollop of ice cream and whipped cream. Christmas Eve is our traditional holiday meal. We've always done surf and turf, so filet mignons and lobster tails will be on the table tonight. I got a lovely truffle from a dear friend, so that will be shaved and incorporated into the red wine reduction sauce, to add another flavor layer. I hope your holiday meal will be as nice as I hope ours will be, but more importantly, that there are family and friends to share.
Great colors. I'd love to see enlargements of these.
Thanks Mishima. If you click on any of the images, that will take you to the Flickr hosting site. I'm not sure, but I think you have to be a member to see larger sizes. If you are a member, and there is a free membership level, you will see a button just above the image that says "All Sizes." If you click on that, you will see a larger version, in addition to the original upload size, which will be larger than most computer screens can display. The details are fun to pick out in original size.

Thanks for coming by.
Wonderful photos and a wonderful reminder/introduction to so many different things. Thank you, as always. I hope that you and your beautiful family have a peaceful and joyous holiday.
Barry, thank you for the colorful Christmas eye candy! As you know, I was at the Cadillac Ranch last summer, in near 100 degree heat as an amazing, tornado-laden thunderstorm was brewing to the southeast. I wish I had had your photography skills that afternoon.

Merry Christmas to you, my friend.
Did you notice how many of them have hot pink paint?
As always, a magnificent array of images.

Please give our love and good wishes to all at the bbd household, brother. Peace, good health, love and happiness to you and yours.
Gary, wishes from my heart to you and yours. Thanks for this half-year of friendship and affirmation.

Merry Christmas back at you Dorinda, thanks.

Thanks for coming by Rob.

Thanks Susan, I hope you have a lovely holiday. Hope to see you in Austin in January too!

Steve, I know it will be a different Christmas for you, my thoughts are with you--with great affection and admiration, thanks for the friendship.

Freaky, may your ass be warm this holiday season. Don't let her use you as a snow gauge anymore.

Bill, great affection to you and yours. Give that R a big hug from me and a "meh" from Evan. Thanks brother.
This is something else! Great pictures!
Well, don't you know I just LOVE the images and mostly, the passionate bright bold colors....gorgeous and beautiful photography.

Thanks for this early Chritmas gift Barry. The best to you and yours.
Wonderfully bright and boisterous!
Barry , good to see a post from you! These images are marvelous and colorful - thanks for the cheer.........
Barry, I missed this post before and just saw it today. I remember seeing photos when the Cadillac Ranch had just been completed and it looked so different before all of the graffiti happened.

Best wishes for a Happy New Year!!
These photos are not just colorful but they tell a story! Wonderful images and the energy beind them. Sorry it took so long to get to this post. Took a little time off over the holiday with the family in Tahoe. Playing catch up now.
Happy New Year!
Hi Barry— Happy New Year to you and yours, and I hope your holidays have been swell. Tonight is the first time in many weeks (months?) I've been able to get back to my beloved OS, and how could I not start by stopping by Aeolian Dissonance for another sight for sore eyes? Thx for the wonderful update on an American icon. It gives me the idea to post on the recent revival of a legendary New York public work, Bill Brand's "Masstransiscope."

PS Now I have an excuse to rent "Cars"!
Glad I have your blog bookmarked or I might have missed this. Metaphor indeed! And gorgeous images! All the best in 2009.
thank you friends for your lovely comments.

I did something different with this post. I usually send out an OSmail to friends when I post something because it usually just vanishes in an instant. I wanted to see what the response was if I did not send out a notice. It's taken a long time for friends to find the post, and some friends that I usually given a heads up to when blog whoring/pimping have not made any comments, though they could have stopped by without saying anything--not that they should--and it's not a requirement for sure. I was just curious about how it would work out this time.

I thing for the next post I'll send out a reminder to see what happens in comparison.

Again, thanks for the visits and for the comments.
Oh Gosh Barry, I remember this from when I was a kid. They didn't have graffiti on them back then though. Gorgeous picks as usual. This reminds me that I've got to get Paul out to see more of Texas.
You may want to look at to see another outdoor art installation. This one is a two block area of the east side of Detroit where artist Tyree Guyton has created an exhibit with found items from the inner city. Cadillac Ranch reminds me very much of Guyton's work.
This is SO worth seeing again!

Thanks to the Editors as well as to Barry.
Look at this! On the cover 2 months later...
Barry, I missed this at Christmas. I'm glad it was re-covered.
Beautiful and rated as usual.
ha! Thanks guys! I was really surprised when I woke up this morning and checked in with OS. Lea's featured photo on the cover on her trip to Greenland is an amazing shot, so glad it got the attention it deserves.
I've always love going past this place.
Fabulous as always, Barry.

I’ve only seen these from the highway the one time I made that road trip, makes me wish we had pulled over and gotten out of the car.
Glad to see this back up again! Aahh, memories.
They really have done an amazing job!
Crazy! I thought that first picture was photoshopped -it looks so surreal. Which is what the artists intended I'm sure. You captured it beautifully.
Missed this the first time around. So glad to see it now and smile!
These are beautiful photos. Thank you so much for sharing them.
Hi Barry:
Glad they put this up -- WOW -- looks great!! I love color especially from your viewpoint. You surely know how to capture it and send it back. Also, remembering your State Fair post as well as the one with the purple building -- just two more of my faves of your work. Keep them coming!
I'm just delighted by all the comments. From the first one back in December from my good friend Gary, to the current last one from my good friend Lisa.

And Lisa, I know that you've been so busy, working in an industry that is one of the most difficult and precarious in these times, and in a state among those hit hardest by our ravaged economy. I miss you very much, but understand about priorities. Your voice has been missing here, and such a lovely reasoned approach to so many issues. I wonder now about your personal encounters with colleagues who were so supportive of the status quo politically and economically and if they've moderated their views any since change has come. You and I still have hope, but it will a difficult road ahead.

I wish you all the best, and again, miss your lovely presence. Thank you for coming by and for your always lovely comments and support.

And thanks for all the comments from friends new and old.
Barry, I am thrilled the editors came back to this and gave it and EP and some cover time. It's truly delightful!
I've never 'gotten' the Grafitti thing; hut then I've always thought that the Cadilac Ranch was both as visually - and metaphorically - beautiful, as anything could possibly be!
I guess some people see a 'surface' - and surface, and.....
I wonder now about your personal encounters with colleagues who were so supportive of the status quo politically and economically and if they've moderated their views any since change has come

OMG - you have your finger on MY pulse. Actually, things are much worse. My business partner of four years and I are now "divorced" and existing in separate parts of the office. I was told that she didn't want her reputation to be intertwined with mine! WOW, after all this time I guess people sense I am not a racist? Good for me!

I doubt you saw it but I got in trouble for a post that I wrote called "Dealing with Klan Daddy's Daughter" that has been taken off my blog for all the trouble it has caused in my office. Several agents wanted me to be fired because I wrote (in comments) that if they were allowed, they would probably choose to fly the Confederate flag over the building (I did write that I was saying this tongue-in-cheek, but they didn't appreciate it as a joke either).

OK, probably not reasoned, not sensible, just me frustrated. I didn't get fired although I am sure it was discussed, but my business partner has not spoken to me for almost two weeks...

I have been told that I am NOT to post anything about my office or coworkers on OS as there are too many people than can find it -- go OS! So, I am hiding my thoughts here in your comments....

I would have to write under a pseudonym but what is the point in that....I have been told if I don't like living here I should move. We own three properties in this area so it is not possible without huge loss. Plus, the world is changing, I cannot help it if they are afraid or sad in result!

In the meantime, however, now that I am separated from my old partner, all kinds of people are coming in to talk with me -- reasoned people that I didn't even know were hiding in the office.

Yes, the times are changing. I smiled the other night when Gloria Borger (CNN) quipped that the Republican Party might just be turning into the party of the Confederacy...Another anchor noted that the Republicans were in danger now that they stand to lose Virginia and North Carolina and have not one New England state going red...This in the wake of the influx of thank you letters from Planned Parenthood to Sarah Palin for donations in her name. For the first time in a long time, I am proud of the media (gasp ;) !

I have SOOO much to say, but I cannot say it here -- they (the Freedom of Speech Fighters for the Confederacy) are watching my blog at the office. So, I am all real estate all the time if I am blogging...boring....

Barry, you would have had a hoot over "Dealing with Klan Daddy's Daughter", or winced, or both. It was one of my best rants EVER against racism...:) Wish I could hide that post somewhere on OS, but I doubt I can get away with it or should take that risk...I am hanging by a thread too thin...;) Thanks for calling me out -- good to talk with you!!
Well buddy when I die throw my body in the back
And drive me to the junkyard in my Cadillac