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The Short Version: Just outside of Las Vegas, an art installation has drawn people out of the casinos and into the desert to see a towering and colorful display of human creativity. “Seven Magic Mountains” by Ugo Rondinone features seven perfectly balanced stacks of colorfully painted boulders that vary in height from 30 to 35 feet tall. Located in the middle of the Nevada desert, the art exhibit calls attention to the beauty of its dry and peaceful surroundings. “Seven Magic Mountains” stands out in the desert and provides a unique opportunity for tourists, photographers, and couples in the area. You can visit this impressive sculpture to get away from the hubbub of the city and enjoy a date surrounded by awe-inspiring sights created by man and nature.
Renowned Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone has made a name for himself by representing the relationship between humans and nature in interesting, thought-provoking, and eye-catching ways. In 2015, he worked in partnership with the Art Production Fund in New York and the Nevada Museum of Art to create one of the most ambitious art exhibits in the Nevada desert.
It took teams of people months to cut and paint locally sourced boulders and then position them into seven brightly colored towers in the middle of a public desert in the Southwest.
“Seven Magic Mountains” now stands in the Nevada desert just 25 miles outside the Las Vegas Strip. This work of art grabs people’s attention because of the precise arrangement of the stacked boulders and the bright, stark colors of the day-glow paint in an arid landscape. Many singles, couples, and families have taken a trip to this secluded area to photograph and ponder the rainbow-painted rocks in person.
Approximately 1,000 visitors stop by “Seven Magic Mountains” every day. Some take a quick selfie and leave, while others linger in the public space with a picnic lunch. Some couples have even celebrated marriage proposals or tied the knot here.
Originally, “Seven Magic Mountains” was a two-year exhibition, but it soon generated a buzz in the art community. Its widespread popularity has led to efforts to extend its stay in the Nevada desert. The Nevada Museum of Art has already arranged for Ugo’s sculpture to remain at least through the end of 2018, and the staff is working to make it a more permanent destination for art lovers of all backgrounds.
You can visit “Seven Magic Mountains” on a date to see for yourself what all the fuss is about and take a gorgeous photo of your own.
“The best time to go is during sunrise or sunset,” said Amanda Horn, Director of Communications for the Nevada Museum of Art. “Because that’s when the light is best.”
Since its opening in May 2016, “Seven Magic Mountains” has become one of the most photographed art installations in the world. It has the distinction of being among the top 10 most Instagrammed artwork ever. Every day, thousands of people travel to this public space to take a selfie with the colorful towers.
“There’s something intuitive about it that everyone can relate to,” Amanda said. “The artwork is poetic.”
Unlike at a museum, people at “Seven Magic Mountains” are free to interact with the work of art. It’s an engaging spot for daters to spend an hour or an afternoon. The area is open from sunrise to sunset, and it’s free to visit, so the artwork is accessible to anyone with a mind to explore the Nevada desert. Though it feels remote, the artwork is visible from the Interstate and easily accessible from the access road.
Surrounded by the desert mountains, “Seven Magic Mountains” punctuates the monochromatic and arid landscape with a burst of color and creativity. It captures the imagination with its joyful and playful artistry.
“It evokes continuity and solidarity between the artificial and the natural, and between the human and nature,” Ugo said. “The benefit of a public sculpture on public ground is that everybody can share it, and that’s my main motivation.”
Visitors experiencing the artwork come away with a variety of takeaways on the beauty of nature and what it means to be human.
“The rainbow of colors offers a message of inclusiveness,” Amanda noted. “That’s another reason why people feel compelled to visit ‘Seven Magic Mountains.'”
Social media has driven the popularity of “Seven Magic Mountains.” People see photos of the sculpture online and feel wowed by the unparalleled grandeur of it. The boulders are so large, bright, and unusual that the towers look unreal, but there they stand as a prominent juxtaposition of colors in the Nevada desert.
On Instagram, hundreds of thousands of people have shown their love for “Seven Magic Mountains” in thousands of artfully captured photos.
This gorgeous destination has enamored visitors from all over the world. “Simplicity is beauty,” said Broccoliiiart on an Instagram post of one of the towers.
“I’ve got ‘Seven Magic Mountains’ to tell you we are surrounded by the miraculous,” said PalmoPerryStreet, an Instagram account for a rescue dog in California. The dog and his owner arrived at 7:30 in the morning to avoid the crowds and have some time to ponder the art. “So crazy cool! Loved it!”
Whether you show up with a friend, a lover, or by yourself, you can enjoy an extraordinary atmosphere full of wonder and romance.
“I truly feel alive when I’m with you,” posted Guanzon.nizzan in a picture of herself and her boyfriend jumping in front of “Seven Magic Mountains.”
Amanda said it’s not unheard of to see couples and families show up to hold an impromptu wedding at “Seven Magic Mountains.” While the Nevada Museum of Art doesn’t arrange private weddings or receptions here, people are more than welcome to grab an officiant and say their vows in the shadow of the art exhibit.
The venue doesn’t allow chairs or tables to be set up, but anyone can stop by to take engagement photos or hold a spontaneous wedding ceremony.
“Seven Magic Mountains” provide an original frame for life’s memorable moments, so people of all ages and backgrounds can show up, snap a photo, and enjoy themselves.
If you’re vacationing in Las Vegas, it’s easy to get caught up in the bright lights and jostling crowds of the city. Your senses are constantly bombarded with sights, sounds, and smells, and so some folks decide to escape for the day to the relative seclusion and serenity of the surrounding Nevada desert. “Seven Magic Mountains” has given people a thoughtful retreat where they can appreciate a new perspective on the Southwestern scenery.
Romantics in Nevada can drive 20 minutes out of town to a stark landscape where a vibrant work of art reminds people that wonder can exist wherever we choose to create it.
“On one hand, ‘Seven Magic Mountains’ doesn’t seem to belong here,” Amanda said. “Yet it all fits together perfectly. It’s a place built on love and poetry, and a lot of people are drawn to that.”