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Great Art Off the Beaten Path

There is some great art that you need to see even if it means you have to travel far to see it.

10 Extraordinary Artworks You Need to Travel to the Edge of the World to See

New York. London. Paris. Public art tends to cluster in major cities around the world, taking center stage in downtown districts and in major institutions. But a lot of truly incredible art exists on the fringes, and some of it is even made by major artists. For a truly unique experience, you’ve got look off the beaten path, away from museums and towards the oceanfronts, mountains, and remote highways of the world. You never know what could astound you.

From the northern tip of Norway to the wilderness of the Namib Desert, we rounded up 10 major works of public art that are hiding in plain sight in some of the most remote corners of the world.

My Favorite - and I have seen it in person - Salvation Mountain

Leonard Knight

Salvation Mountain (1984–2011)

Leonard Knight, <i>Salvation Mountain</i> (1984–2011). Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Corbis/Getty Images.

Leonard Knight, Salvation Mountain (1984–2011). Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Corbis/Getty Images.

WHAT: Leonard Knight (1931–2014) never called himself an artist, but he created an epic piece of multicolored land/folk art in the southern Californian desert. Called Salvation Mountain, it overlooks the Salton Sea, surrounded by vehicles he customized in the same visionary style. Every surface preaches Knight’s gospel of love and faith in Jesus in primary colors. When the first “mountain” he made collapsed, Knight decided it was God’s will, and he started all over again—only on a bigger scale. He did, however, abandon the idea of having a hot air balloon float above the site, as it proved impractical in the harsh desert climate.  


WHERE: Salvation Mountain is next to Slab City, and a short drive from Bombay Beach, which boasts its own biennial and thriving art community. All are around a three-hour drive southwest from Los Angeles, and within easy reach of the Coachella Valley.

FUN FACT: The first Salvation Mountain, which Knight began in 1984, was made with unstable building methods and collapsed. So Knight changed locations and started again.





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