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The Art of Burning Man

Image of installation at Burning Man, the word LIVE

PHOTO BY: Playaman

No matter what you think about the annual Burning Man festival, it’s arguably one of the biggest yearly collections of pop-up architecture on the planet. Hence, “the art of Burning Man.”

This year, an estimated 70,000 people descended on the playa of Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to form the yearly temporary city, dubbed “Carnival of Mirrors” — a radical annual festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert drawing together artsy folk, techies, celebrities and other celebrants.

Each year, from the last week of August to Labor Day, festival goers erect a temporary city of sorts filled with fantastical installations and a giant wooden effigy that is ultimately set aflame. Call it fun, profound, or insufferably hipster, but this year, the event sure gave rise to some incredible design and architecture. A pictorial collection of the unusual sights from this year’s festival was photographed by Reuters photographer Jim Urquhart.

The mission of Burning Man (yes there is a mission) is to create a society that connects each individual to his or her creative powers, to participate in the community, to the larger realm of civic life, and to the even greater world of nature that exists beyond society. Festival creators believe that the experience of Burning Man can produce a positive spiritual change in the world.
Writer and photographer NK Guy’s new book, Art of Burning Man (Taschen), documents the intricate structures that form the backdrop to this massive event taking place in an otherwise empty landscape 100 miles from Reno. His dazzling images record the participatory, collective, intrinsically ephemeral installations and happenings in the desert, which exist for no clearer purpose than because someone wanted to express something. The book was released just prior to this year’s festival and features a gallery of some of Guy’s most insane shots.

Check out the art of Burning Man in 2015. Meantime, check out my website for information on amazing permanent properties currently on the market in Montecito and the surrounding communities. Then give me a call at 805.886.9378 or email me at

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