After hours of flat land driving, a colorful reward appears on the south side of I-40 just west of Amarillo Texas. It's Cadillac Ranch. The farmer/owner buried eight cadillacs nose down in the middle of his field and it has become a major tourist attraction. There's not that much to see in Amarillo. A straight trail across dirt for a few hundred yards leads to the planted cars. All around the farmer continues to plant crops. Locals and tourists bring many colors of spray paint, and in the constant great plains breeze/wind, spray grafitti over the vehicles. A sign at the entrance says spray painting is illegal on the road side of the fence, and of course the sign is covered in grafitti.
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Cadillacs in Texas
Cadillac Ranch is quite possibly one of the coolest permanent art installations throughout the USA. I imagine when the cars were buried in the mid-70's by the Ant Farm art collective the residents of this ranching town must have shook their heads in disapproval. Now, the cars provide canvases for anyone with spray paint. When passing through Amarillo, eat a steak at the Big Texan and snap photos at the Ranch.
A graffiti-magnet, Cadillac Ranch just west of Amarillo TX on I-40 is the perfect spot to add your tag to the many layers of paint on these wild Caddy's. With fresh cans of day-glow paint, we had a ball painting the cars, ourselves & each other (thanks to the wind).
The brainchild of multiple artists collectively know as Ant Farm, Cadillac Ranch is an art installation/sculpture that consists of 10 up-ended and partially buried vintage Cadillacs. It was funded by Amarillo businessman Stanley Marsh III in 1974 and remained on his property just outside of Amarillo, TX until 1997 at which time it was moved a few miles down the road to it's current location. While technically still located on his private property, it's proximity to the freeway and a perpetually unlocked gate point to an "all are welcome" attitude.
Anyone with an itchy trigger finger and a can or two of spray paint can leave their mark on this piece of American history. Few places exist that actively encourage participation in the defacing of works of art. A true anomaly, Cadillac Ranch does just that. Those who are present and participating exude an air of guilty pleasure as they step from car to car, shaking and rattling their cans of paint while looking for the perfect place to leave their mark.
By all means, don't be shy. Get in there and start spraying. Be sure to snap a photo of your masterpiece as soon as you finish though. Chances are that within minutes of you leaving your contribution will disappear under a fresh layer of paint by the smiling vandal that's right behind you.