Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Sunday, 21 June 2015

M. T. Liggett, American Folk Artist

Mullinville, Kansas

We wake up in Wichita, Kansas at 6 AM and set out for Mullinville (Population maybe 300) about 100 miles west on State Road 400.


We saw M. T. Liggett's work there seven years ago cruising across Kansas listening to a great FM rock station out of Dodge City.I've never been satisfied with the pictures I took of his work back then, so I decided to drive 500 miles out of the way and try once again.


We hit the Mullinville junction of State roads 400 and 54 and get detoured down 54. Mrs. Phred suggests immediately parking in the Mullinville truck stop, but I insist on continuing down 54 twelve miles, up county road 39 four miles and back east 8 miles on closed road 400. There we run into a total road closure. I suggest walking to Mullinville the next four miles and back in 100 degree heat, but Mrs. Phred is having none of it.


I eventually agree to unhook the Honda, do a U-turn and return 20 miles to the Mullinville truck stop. Mrs. Phred says that I always eventually do the right thing after exhausting all other possibilities.


We stop for breakfast at the truck stop and I ask the waitress if she knows M. T. Liggett. She says he comes in mostly for coffee. She says if he likes you he makes you a heart, if he doesn't he might make an ugly sculpture and put your name on it....she has four hearts.It's a small town. She says his doctor doesn't want him to work anymore...


I went back just now to look at my 2008 blog about M. T. Liggett. It's interesting that out of hundreds of sculptures that I seem to have selected many of the same ones...maybe those are the ones that seem very powerful to me?


This time I take 170 pictures. I try to compose them properly and use Picasa to crop them. Obviously a blog with that many pictures wouldn't work well so I pick only16...not enough...you should go and look yourself before all this original genius rusts away....this guy makes Picasso look a little unoriginal and repetitive...

"Evolution is wrong," declares another of his signs. "Only a miracle from the Almighty could have created the moronic dumbasses on the Kansas State Board of Education." - See more at: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/11212#sthash.kdUBr0R6.dpuf
"Evolution is wrong," declares another of his signs. "Only a miracle from the Almighty could have created the moronic dumbasses on the Kansas State Board of Education." - See more at: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/11212#sthash.kdUBr0R6.dpuf

There is an article on Roadside America about Mr. Liggett.



"In 1989, Liggett  began creating metal sculptures.   He uses a plasma arc cutter and an arc welder to turn old farm equipment, car parts, road signs, and any other odd bits of iron he can lay his hands on, into fantastic characters which adorn his property, on the side of Route 400 just west of town.  Most of Liggett's sculptures are brightly painted, and many have moving parts that spin and flash in the hot Kansas sun."


Hillary Clinton is, "Our Jack-Booted Eva Braun,” Mr. and Mrs. Clinton caricatures are labeled, “Pothead” and “Porkadolf”. Mrs. Clinton is done up with swastikas.


As you drive around Mullinville, you see Liggett's work everywhere....rust never sleeps...


He’s got one that equates Waco with Auschwitz. Janet Reno has her head stuffed up her butt. A right wing Republican has his thumb in the same position. Halliburton is represented by a dark pig’s head.


"Evolution is wrong," declares another of his signs. "Only a miracle from the Almighty could have created the moronic dumbasses on the Kansas State Board of Education." - See more at: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/11212#sthash.kdUBr0R6.dpuf
It’s tough to figure out Liggett’s political position. He seems equally pissed by just about everything and everyone, especially politicians.


Lots of the “totems” are devoted to M.T.’s old girlfriends, who he has immortalised in junk. You have to wonder about his relationships with neighbours. My money says he doesn’t much care much what other people think.


. "Evolution is wrong," declares another of his signs. "Only a miracle from the Almighty could have created the moronic dumbasses on the Kansas State Board of Education."
Putting aside intent, is M.T
- See more at: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/11212#sthash.YV7antR2.dpuf
At times Liggett's neighbors have not been pleased with his work....however,  he has made Mullinville famous.



Lots of hearts... Here is a video about the artist....check U-tube for many more....

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