Is it any surprise that Rick Owens, the fashion designer known as the “Lord of Darkness,” travels in only one mode: absolute style? In October, Owens and his wife, Michèle Lamy, embarked on a road trip—in a matte-black tour bus customized by French luxury brand Moncler—through the American Southwest, that started in Los Angeles, made a stop in Las Vegas, and culminated in the Nevada desert. The destination was Land Art pioneer Michael Heizer’s colossal artwork City.
Heizer had invited the couple to visit his Nevada ranch in Garden Valley, where he’s spent the past half century constructing his life’s masterwork: a mile-and-a-half-long sculpture constructed of rock, sand, and concrete that draws inspiration from pre-Columbian cities like Mexico’s Teotihuacán.
“It’s spooky and it’s eccentric and it’s extreme and it’s heroic and it’s kind of an underground thing—and I just couldn’t resist. I mean, I jumped at the chance,” Owens told Vogue writer Steff Yotka in an interview.
Owens and Lamy join a select club of those few who have ever seen City in person, as its location near Yucca Mountain, which President Obama declared a national monument in 2015, makes it largely inaccessible.
Writing about the trip in a press release, Owens said, “I was kind of thinking about Joseph Beuys traveling to the U.S. from Germany in the Seventies, landing at JFK, being wrapped in felt and taken by ambulance to his N.Y. Gallery to live with a wild coyote for three days in his installation I Like America and America Likes Me, and then going straight [back] to Germany the same way.”