On the moving road-trip to L.A. we passed through Amarillo, Texas home of infamous Cadillac Ranch. Cadillac Ranch is a site specific artwork located on the property of art patron and Texan millionaire Stanley Marsh 3, in Amarillo Texas. The piece was created in 1974 by the San Francisco and Houston based art collective Ant Farm. by artists, Doug Michels, Hudson Marquez, and Chip Lord
The experimental art collective Ant Farm was active 1968-1978, using architecture, performance, and media art, many of their projects reached out to the public and not only the art world.
Cadillac Ranch is comprised of ten classic Cadillac cars buried nose down in a dusty wheat field. Situated off historic Route 66 the art work could be thought of as a site specific ready made, that questions the division between what is a site specific artwork or a roadside attraction?
The site itself becomes a major influence and factor to the work. Unlike contemporaneous artists working in an expanded field in the remote locations in America, Cadillac Ranch was only a few steps a off a popular highway, not requiring an difficult journey to be viewed and experienced.
The piece was inspired by the evolution of the Cadillac and it’s iconic tail-fin design. The ten cars are buried nose in the dirt with their tail-fins shining in the sun. The tail-fins were the most important element of the cars for the artists. They represented the passing of time of the commercialized form. Over the years of the Cadillac production the design morphed and Ant Farm envisioned their roadside sculpture as a monument to the rise and fall of the tail-fin starting in 1948 with the lead car and ending in 1964.