Ricardo Breceda: Accidental Artist

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9780932653994: Ricardo Breceda: Accidental Artist
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Placed against the backdrop of the stunning Anza-Borrego desert in southern California, Ricardo Breceda's Sky Art is the perfect blend of stunning craftsmanship and placement in the open desert landscape. Over 120 metallic sculptures are scattered over three non-contiguous square miles of Borrego Valley. From science to history and nature, the sculptures have evolved into whim and fantasy -- something for everyone on this large desert palette. Startling and stunning as these fantastic sculptures are, they beg a story of how they came to be. This is that story.

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About the Author:

Diana Lindsay has been researching and writing about the Anza-Borrego area of southern California for over 40 years. She co-authored the Anza-Borrego Desert Region (1978), a guidebook now in its 5th edition, as well as Anza-Borrego A to Z: People, Places, and Things (2001). Diana is an avid bicyclist, runner and hiker. She lives in El Cajon, California with her husband, Lowell, and has a retreat in Borrego Springs in her beloved Anza-Borrego desert region.

Review:

...There are many faces to the desert, and this book presents one that many do not recognize. I personally look for places to explore, big sky, and long views. Others look for physical challenges, for photographic opportunities, for wildflower seasons, or for family recreation. The desert in this book is not remote. Rather it is a part of a surrounding community, and it is a canvas for a human vision. In another way and its own way, this desert also raises big questions about our own existence. Thank you Ricardo Breceda for bringing us this vision. Thank you Diana Lindsay for bringing us Ricardo Breceda. --Craig Deutsch, Desert Report, a publication of the Sierra Club

Ricardo Breceda: Accidental Artist holds attraction for several audiences, from art collections strong in modern sculptors to books featuring California or Southern California artists, and others focusing on travel attractions. It chronicles the life of an injured construction worker who earned a living selling exotic leather boots, then moved into realm of creating metallic sculptures in Southern California's Borrego Valley on a private property open to the public. Add an accompanying history of the region as a whole and a survey of the evolution of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and you have an engrossing focus on Ricardo Breceda, his works, and his evolution. --Midwest Book Review - James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief; Diane C. Donovan, Editor

Once, a long time ago, enormous prehistoric creatures strode through our deserts. Their fossils have been uncovered throughout Anza-Borrego State Park and provide paleontologists with important clues about ancient animal life and our ever-evolving environment. Today the deserts just east of us are certainly less hospitable to living dinosaurs and huge raptors, but stunning metal sculptures of primordial animals can be found there, inspiring awe among us later-comers to the animal world. Ricardo Breceda: Accidental Artist, by Diana Lindsay is a carefully crafted story of a talented man who sculpted life-sized, outsized metal creatures, cowboys and other whimsical figures and placed them in the desert for all to enjoy. Lindsay is a highly accomplished writer with several books to her credit. She is also a naturalist, desert conservationist and co-owner of Sunbelt Publications in El Cajon. Her interest in the arid reaches of our region stretches back to the 1970s when she began a master's thesis at San Diego State University that ultimately turned into a book. The Anza-Borrego Desert Region, first published in 1978, remains a popular guidebook now in its fifth printing. With a lively and passionate foreword by famed Oceanside author Victor E. Villasenor, this gorgeous and stunning book gets off to a rousing start. Villasenor calls Breceda a Picasso who works with metal with the gusto of a child. As told by Lindsay, the youthful Breceda would hardly have been picked to leave his dusty village of Villa Union in the Mexican state of Durango to gain acclaim in southern California and the world. We follow him on his journey from unruly student, his trek to America, success as a boot salesman, employment as a restaurant manager, work as a highly skilled framer, and ultimately as the accidental artist. His skill and fame began with the manufacture of three large metal sculptures for his 7-year-old daughter and grew from there. Self-taught and originally working from a roadside sculpture garden, Breceda has created works that have found homes in seven states and in Mexico, Australia and Canada. Lindsay's narrative focuses on how Breceda came to create the more than 120 pieces of engaging art work. Several of his pieces adorn businesses, homes and gardens. Most, however, are on accessible private lands within a holding called Galleta Meadows next to Anza-Borrego State Park. A short day trip from North County vi --Richard Carrico, North County Times

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