|location||California, Los Angeles|
The Watts Towers is proclaimed to be the largest art piece ever constructed by one person. Built by a man with no formal training, Rodia's unique towers are the ultimate 'backyard' project. When asked why he was constructing them, the Italian immigrant simply replied, "I wanted to do something big and I did it." The towers were created out of wire mesh, bound together by metal coat hangers. A special concrete mix was applied by hand and various artifacts were then pressed into it. The artifacts ranged from pieces of broken tile, seashells, coloured glass bottles, plates, and rocks. Owing to Rodia's respect for the great Italian explorers, it is often said that the form of the complex is patterned after a large sailing ship. The tallest tower tops out at 99' feet, just below the 100' regulation height. In 1955, perhaps after falling one too many times, Simon Rodia abruptly left LA, never to return.