100 miles from the gambling town of Reno, in the wilderness of northern Nevada, lies avast, hostile plain known as the Black Rock Desert. The region has been an empty and windswept dry lake bed for most of the past 10,000 years. Except, that is, for one brief week at the end of each summer, when a temporary city rises out of the barren clay.
This is the surreal and amazing site of the Burning Man festival. Baked by the sun, and blinded by dust. It’s also the incubator of some of the most remarkable site-specific outdoor art ever made: A mechanized fire-breathing octopus, a towering wooden temple 15 meters tall, and the eponymous Man himself—a skeletal sculpture set ablaze at the festival’s conclusion.
The beauty of this place has been captured by NK Guy in the book Art of Burning Man. The writer and photographer has assembled a collection of dazzling images which record these happenings in the desert. Below are some of the impressive images to be found in the book.
The Art of Burning Man photos can be seen at Lights of Soho Gallery until September 10.
Remains of the Man, 2013
Burning Man arts festival participant Kaspian Khalafi stands atop the smoldering embers of the Burning Man effigy, the morning after the burn. The dramatic skies are the result of massive forest fires blowing smoke all the way from Yosemite, California.
Embrace, a massive wooden sculpture 70 feet tall, burns at dawn during the Burning Man art festival, 2014. The work symbolizes the nature of human relationships, and was built to burn.
The Temple of Whollyness, 2013
Participants gather within the Temple of Whollyness at the Burning Man art festival, 2013. The Burning Man temples are memorial sites for remembrance and mourning, and are burned at the conclusion of the event. The stone sculpture, carved from black basalt by Jael.