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Where the Heaven Flowers Grow.

Photographs by Aaron Huey.
Outsider Books, USA, 2015. In English. 110 pp., An unbound Folio of 88 color illustrations, 9x11".



Publisher's Description

In Where the Heaven Flowers Grow, photographer Aaron Huey shares the world of Leonard Knight through images and artifacts collected over 5 years of documenting Salvation Mountain, the literal man-made mountain Knight built near California’s Salton Sea. What started as a small monument made of dirt and cement became a sprawling adobe and hay-bale complex; peripheral structures made of telephone poles, tires, and car windows grew from the earth, and art cars and sculptures crept across the landscape. Leonard coated everything in his signature patchwork of stripes and color blocks, pouring over half a million gallons of donated latex paint onto his creation.

Leonard had no belongings and lived in the back of a broken down fire truck covered in scripture. He built, he ate, he gave tours, he bathed and he slept. Nothing more. For 28 years he lived this way, the simple life of a visionary, working without pause on his opus. Leonard worked beyond our concept of time, slowly and methodically, without ever wandering from his path. His sole purpose in this endeavor was to spread the message that “God is Love.” He shared this with those who came to the mountain, giving personal tours to every single person who arrived during waking hours.

Leonard was unique in that he created with no outside influence. He did not mean to be an “artist,” yet he became one, and flowers sprung up wherever he went. Today the monumental environment he built, recognized by congress as a “national treasure,” is one of the most important examples of Outsider art in the world.

This book is a collection of images made of Leonard’s last years working on the Mountain, of the last surfaces he painted before they were covered by the work of volunteers after his death, and of artifacts from Leonard’s life. An introduction by curator Jo Farb Hernández places Leonard and his work in a greater historical context within the realm of art environments and the art world as a whole.

A portion of all profits will be donated to support preservation of the Mountain by Salvation Mountain, Inc.

The Trade Edition of Where the Heaven Flowers Grow includes:

  • An unbound folio of 88 images
  • A collection of oral histories
  • Three “dime store” prints taken by Walter Gonzalez in 1984 of one of the last attempts to inflate Leonard’s hot air balloon
  • A 44-page songbook reproducing 20 hand-written songs by Leonard Knight
  • One foldout photograph 9 x 28 inches
  • Three postcards
  • A letter from Leonard

The Limited Edition includes a trade edition book and:

  • A signed copy of the First Edition book and all contents above PLUS
  • A signed and numbered Aaron Huey print from the series (8 ?;x 10.5?)
  • All wrapped in one of three canvas texture prints (18? x 22?)


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