THIS! THIS is what sets behind that Love Locket from yesterday, guarding the entrance to the Downtown Container Park on Fremont Street East, in Las Vegas. Quite possibly my most favorite thing in town at the moment. A 150:1 scale exact replica of a female praying mantis by aerospace engineer turned artist, Kirk Jellum.
Photos were taken on three separate occasions over the past 9 months, give or take (the gloomy skies on the first visit made for a great "impending doom" backdrop). I have always wanted to drive the Weinermobile, but I would KILL to drive THIS! Set atop a military looking Humvee (one of the old, BIG ones), this thing actually drives - considered a "Street-Legal Kinetic Mobile Fire-Art Vehicle" - yes, it's been to the Burning Man Festival!
This was constructed by Jellum as a first wedding anniversary gift for his wife - my husband is SO lame!
When fully extended, the Mantis measures 40' tall X 30' wide.
Every night, at sundown (weather permitting), the Mantis is awakened by a "Call to the Mantis" Drum Circle Celebration (so, see - you don't even have to go as far as the desert of Burning Man to enjoy some of the "special uniqueness" of that whole event).
This gal burns approximately 50 gallons of liquid propane each night, with flaming antennae and color changing eyes. In other words, she's LIT (as may be some of the drum circle participants). Who needs Colorado or Oregon? Mind-blowing without the edibles, and a lot cheaper, too - like FREE, man! Plus, no paranoia or munchies afterwards. Win-win!
Jellum and a team of 20 built the Mantis in 2010 - 500 hours of design work, and over 3,000 hours of labor are invested in this creature. She also has a built-in 4,000 watt surround sound system, can speak 20 different languages (I just gathered info off the sign in front - don't ask me how a bug speaks 20 different languages), and takes a team of four trained/licensed professionals to operate (I can only assume they all have special "Kinetic Mobile Fire-Art Vehicle Operators Licenses"...my driver's license is SO lame!
See for yourself - she sets behind the Love Locket, in front of the Downtown Container Park (more about that tomorrow), and next to the Vortex Dome on the corner of Fremont and Seventh Streets (or 707 Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas, to be exact). I love her!