Bombay Beach Art Installations

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Bombay Beach Art Installations

Bombay Beach

Highway 111

California 92257

33.356532917143134, -115.73401903862253

Dog-Friendly: I wouldn’t bring my dog here    Kid-Friendly: I wouldn’t bring my kid here



Image by Kevin Key

About the Bombay Beach Art Installations:

When one thinks of the Salton Sea and Bombay Beach, an apocalyptic wasteland may come to mind.  That was my impression the first time I visited.

Rising sea levels in the 1970s caused the entire eastern side of town to be abandoned. Eerie, dusty, creepy, especially when explored in the evening by car headlights. Shadows twist and play tricks on a susceptible mind. There is a powerful smell of death; old and fresh.

I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many find great inspiration in this area.  Death and decay can still be quite beautiful and definitely invoke creativity.  There has always been graffiti and street art decorating the buildings, but as of more recently, Bombay Beach has turned more into a spin of Banky’s Dismaland.

bombay beach art installations
Image by Aaron Eudaley

The group behind it is the Bombay Beach Biennale, which is a group of artists that head out to Bombay Beach annually for a celebration of art, music and philosophy. The events hosts live music, performances, they’ve even had an opera singer!

What’s truly exciting is many of the art installations become permanent art fixtures within the town, free to explore to the public.  Keep in mind that this area can be sketchy so please do your research before heading out here and deciding if this is the type of place you should visit.  I personally would not call Bombay Beach kid-friendly but that is just my opinion.

Regardless, the art fixtures are really something.  Great for photographers and art appreciators alike!

Photos by Aaron Eudaley:


Photos by Kevin Key:

This photo and info was sent to me by the artist himself, Carl Hopgood.  Here is what he sent me:

The wooden ladder I use in this art work is an original 12ft Orange picking ladder from the 1950s. One that would be used by fruit picking migrants. Between 1890 and 1960 “citrus produced more wealth than had gold in California history and ranked second only to the oil industry in California’s economy,” according to historian Gilbert Gonzalez. There is an aspect of the citrus story that is often left out—the fact that its massive success was made possible on the backs of a segregated Mexican immigrant labor force

Combined with this history, I was also inspired by a line from Greek poet Dinos Christianopoulos. a small couplet, which was included in the collection The Body and the Wormwood. The powerful couplet reads: ‘What didn’t you do to bury me, but you forgot that I was a seed.

“Christianopoulos was sidelined by the Greek literary community in the 1970s because he was gay . Being Welsh, Greek and Gay the fight against bullying, repression, injustice and discrimination are things that I have experienced.

Title : Twelve Steps by Carl Hopgood
Date: 2022
Materials : Wooden Fruit Picking Ladder, Blue Neon, 2 Transformers
Provenance : UTA Artist Space Beverly Hills 2022, Bombay Beach Bienalle 2023
12ft x 5ft

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