Asphalt Art…

by forrest fenn

Many of the objects in my collection are significant in a very small depiction of world history. Most are more interesting than they are important. Nevertheless, it is necessary for me to remember that each piece represents who we once were in a time that used to be, and that I will never be anything more than its temporary custodian. 



truck2Not everyone is blessed with an eye for what’s good in modern art. Being one so chosen keeps me always in the hunt. I acquired “Coca” on a windy day in March, 1974, while crossing San Mateo Street in Santa Fe. There came a strange rattling sound and I quickly looked to see a truck tire add the final touches to Coca’s composition.




At that instant I fully understood the seductive charm of abstract art, and realized the genius of how some of it was produced. Our gallery director thought my mind was circling the drain with what he rudely called “That road kill plein air sculpture.”

My asphalt art collection is created in the tiny world of its immediate surroundings and has no loyalty to any maker. But it must adhere to certain architectural and aesthetic parameters related to a hanging loop and full body endowment.

Since that initial acquisition, forty-years ago, my collection has expanded to four masterworks. The mayor wants to give me an award for cleaning “litter” from our city streets. He just doesn’t have the eye so I probably won’t display it at city hall. But who cares, the curator at the Museum of Modern Art in Washington thinks I’m a genius.


“Libation”, “Nada” and “Awe”