See also: Burning Man: Phoenix Artists Take Gigantic Insects, Jack-In-The-Box Fetuses and Other Unique Art to the Desert See also: Burning Man: 15 Must-See Animated GIFs of This Year's Burning Shenanigans See also: Burning Man 2012: It's About Art! See also: Burning Man 2012: Black Rock City Life See also: The Fantastic People of Burning Man
After spending a week out in the dry and dusty Nevada desert, most Burning Man attendees typically need a few days to rest and decompress from the experience. Such a recovery period is only natural, considering they've endured seven straight days of harsh condition and nonstop sensory overload wrought by maelstroms of light, color, sound, and -- of course -- objects set aflame.
A slew of Valley residents and creatives were amongst the hundreds who visited the most recent Burning Man in the Nevada desert and many had their cameras in tow. They grabbed scads of photos capturing all the surreal and spectacular sights to be seen and were kind enough to share some of their snapshots with Jackalope Ranch.
Welder Heather Dessel, for instance, got plenty of shots of her 11-foot praying mantis sculpture that she created for the event. It proved to be a big hit, the artist says, as Burning Man attendees posed for photos in front of the metal artwork and even hung out inside its hollow fabric-lined thorax.
"I even caught a couple boning [inside]," she says.
Dessel's metallic insect was only one of dozens of ginormous installations set up at Burning Man. Phoenix shutterbug Jody Jacquinot provided Jackalope Ranch with photos of impressive-looking sculptures depicting ancient Egyptian pharaoh hounds, intricate and tower wooden constructions, and pirate shipwrecks.
She also fired away with her DSLR throughout the weeklong event, catching some of the bizarre fun and madcap activities that are a regular part of Burning Man, whether it was participants playing games of chess using oversized pieces, naked women suspended from ropes, or a game of bowling in the middle of the Black Rock Desert.
"If you have never been [to Burning Man], I highly recommend it," Jacquinot says of this year's event. "It is an indescribable experience. And I thought I had seen it all. No way."
Then there was the actual burning of the man-shaped effigy itself, which serves at the climax of the week and gives the event its name. The wood and neon sculpture, which towers over the desert at the center of the Burning Man layout, was felled in a gigantic conflagration while fireworks went off in the sky.
Jacquinot spent a lot of her time on the playa hanging with the locals who created the "Movement of Jah People" art car, including Scottsdale metal fabricator Ian Liljeblad. The double-decker bus, which was inspired by Rastafarian music and culture, was one of dozens of mutant vehicles that drove around Burning Man and were lit up with colored lights like mobile rainbows.
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Liljeblad described his week at the event as an experience "unlike anything else."
"Ever heard of Burning Man, considered going and then told yourself, 'Sounds like something I'd fucking hate?'" Liljeblad says. "Open you mind so you can open your heart and love the ones around you. There are so many lessons to be learned from the beautiful people there. Go and bring it home with you. It will make the world a better place."
See more photos of Burning Man taken by Phoenix artists via our slideshow.