Salvation Mountain (#112) — by Joe Reifer
Leonard Knight is the amazing folk artist who built Salvation Mountain in Niland, CA — not far from the Salton Sea. There’s a great short film about Leonard on PBS Independent Lens. The filmmakers are Chris Metzler and Jeff Springer, who made an amazing feature length documentary called Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea, which has a segment on Salvation Mountain. The film isn’t available on DVD yet — you can find out about screenings on the website, and also sign up for notification when it’s released. I’ll definitely be buying a copy.
I was planning a road trip to Anza Borrego for December, and got fired up to visit the Salton Sea after seeing the documentary earlier this year. I had seen Mark Tucker’s dreamlike, weathered Salton Sea photos some time ago. My original introduction to the Salton Sea was through my friend Troy Paiva‘s essential night photography book, Lost America.
Last week I spent a few hours in the beautiful late afternoon light photographing Salvation Mountain, and hanging out with Leonard Knight. Salvation Mountain is an amazing place, built by an amazing man.