On the outskirts of the old mining town of Goldfield, in Nevada, about half-a-mile off Highway 95, lies the “International Car Forest of the Last Church” – an art installation of 40 graffiti splattered, old cars, trucks, and buses buried nose down into the desert. The installation is a collaboration between Michael “Mark” Rippie and artist Chad Sorg.
Michael Rippie, who owns 80 acres of land next to the dirt road, began the project in 2002, determined to get the Guinness Book of World Records title for the most cars planted vertically in the ground. He was later joined by Chad Sorg, who was driving through Goldfield several years ago, when he spied a vehicle sticking out of the ground. Sorg was so intrigued by Rippie’s creation that he moved to Goldfield in 2011 to live in a trailer and create art along with Rippie.
Unlike the famous Cadillac Ranch in Texas, where cars are planted at the same angle as the Great Pyramid of Giza, or Carhenge in Nebraska, inspired by England's prehistoric Stonehenge, there seems to be no apparent order at the International Car Forest. Some cars are buried, some stacked on top of another and others simply parked. Some are covered with psychedelic graffiti. The source of the old junkers is unclear but, in the Nevada desert, such vehicles aren’t exactly hard to find.
The car forest is open all times for viewing pleasure. Artists have painted these cars, and bands play to audiences there. Unfortunately the two artists no longer work together after an angry fall out at a party. Rippie is now behind bars, sentenced last November to two years in federal prison for violating gun laws. Sorg went to Reno, where he's reportedly working on a Motel.
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