Love Him Or Hate Him, Stanley Marsh 3 Defines Amarillo Art
It's a tricky thing, you love someone's work but don't like the person. We see it with athletes, musicians, celebrities in general.
Stanley Marsh 3 is one of those people. He was a beloved ambassador of Amarillo providing it with its quirk...then it all came tumbling down.
Lawsuits brought against him in the 1990's, then another in 2012. In 2013, he was indicted by a Texas Grand Jury. Every one of these lawsuits were wrapped around sexual misconduct and sexual abuse of children. This is one of those unforgiveable offenses, and Marsh was chastised and seriously looked down upon as these lawsuits came about.
The artistic gifts bestowed upon us here in Amarillo started to lose their shine, their luster. People screamed for the removal of anything Marsh had created and was displayed. Ultimately, most of them were left standing. Best known for creating Cadillac Ranch, which is known across the entire country, Marsh created so many different things that defined the art of Amarillo. Some of these pieces are among the first things newcomers or passerby's see as they enter Amarillo on the highways.
LLEGS OF OZYMANDIAS
These are the giant legs sticking out of the ground off I-27. My youngest was the first one in the car to point them out as we entered the city asking, "ummmm are those giant legs??". The perplexity in his voice is exactly what goes through everyone's mind when they see these for the first time. Finish it off with a ridiculous pair of athletic socks, and you have yourself the true definition of art...something that doesn't seem to make sense, but captivates you all the same.
On Tascosa Road, you'll find this mesa about 8 miles away from Amarillo. This was one of the simplest things Marsh did, but it was extensive. He simply painted a white line all around the rim of the mesa. Why would he do something like that? Well, it messes with your mind. The line makes it appear as if the mesa is floating in the air. Yeah, it's like looking at one of those pictures where it appears to be a bunch of nothing, but once you hyper focus on it, something pops out almost in 3D. This is similar to that.
BIZARRE STREET SIGNS
I wrote about these recently, you can read more about them here, but Marsh would put up random street signs around Amarillo that would make zero sense. The whole premise of them was to get you thinking or draw a smile or laugh from you. A good amount of these signs still exist and are out there for you to read.