nuestra pueblo...

Revisiting the photographs of La Sagrada Familia from Barcelona reminded me of another architectural artist, one whose work stands on American soil. Last year, on a quick trip to visit family in southern California, we had a chance to view the incredible Nuestra Pueblo by Simon Rodia (1879 - 1965), otherwise known as Watts Towers.

Working with scraps, broken pottery, sea shells and bits of glass, Rodia built his vision single-handedly in his own back yard. His spires soar nearly 100 feet into the skies and the story of his life always touches me.

Though perhaps small in comparison to the works of Gaudi's Barcelona projects, Nuestra Pueblo seems to embody a creative spirit and force of heart that feels much larger.

Los Angeles, November 2006.

Rolleiflex T, Fomapan 400.