Artist Aaron Rose is bored of art galleries. He sees them as archaic, out of touch and failing to engage with the people and spaces outside of their boundaries. Instead of this self-contained, self-obsessed world, Rose prefers integrating art into the public sphere.
According to Rose, this preference for inclusive DIY art spaces outside of the gallery wasn’t merely a ‘lightbulb’ moment. Instead, it was the influence of the late Simon Rodia that sparked his new approach—specifically the Watts Towers, which Rodia built with discarded objects between 1921 and 1954. Check out the video with The Avant/Garde Diaries to see this monumental feat—the Watts Towers are DIY art culture at its very best.
In recent decades, other examples of slightly barmy, colorful and creative ingenuity have popped up across the globe. With this in mind, we’ve used the Watts Towers as the misshapen blueprint for an inspiring guide to hand-crafted works. Here’s our list of the most self-styled, oddball, piece-by-piece public art spaces out there.