In January 2012, Eric Firestone and Carlo McCormick (with the help of a few heavy-machine-driving professionals) dragged three DC Super 3 planes, a C45, a Lockheed VC140, a C97 cockpit, and dozens of nosecones out of the Tucson boneyard near Pima Air and Space Museum, and gave them new life.
The Boneyard Project included a dream lineup of contemporary artists and opened with a massive party. But when the exhibition's run was over that summer, most of the nosecones went back to New York, and the planes were dragged back to the boneyard with an understanding that the work was ultimately ephemeral.
But Firestone and McCormick still have a few surprises.
See also: - The Boneyard Project: When Planes Become Contemporary Art Canvases in the Tucson Desert - Watch this Motocross Video: DC/Robbie Maddison's AIR.CRAFT with Crazy Stunts at the Tucson Boneyard
The two are coming back to the desert this weekend with contemporary artist Kenny Scharf to paint another plane and talk about the future of the project at theMOCA Tucson on Saturday, March 16.
McCormick notes that since the exhibition's inception, the majority of the research, artwork, and time spent dragging dusty plane parts out of the boneyard was done -- and will continue to be done -- based on faith in a growing, and ephemeral project. And while McCormick won't confirm when or where Scharf will be painting his own piece, he says knowing that Scharf is participating is, on a creative level, enough for the project to continue.
"When we began a lot of this mischief by asking artists to paint on the noses of airplanes [as objects, rather than the whole planes], Kenny was the very first artist I thought of," writes McCormick. "That's not just because he's a great artist -- there have been to my opinion many associated with this project -- but because his art is all about the promise and the optimism of the space age.
"We're both roughly the same age -- gnarly old men -- so I can relate to the absence, loss and failure his work psychically addresses. We grew up with a man on the moon, Tang, cars that looked like they could fly, The Jetsons on prime time TV, and all the promise for the future these delusional ideals held. We expected to be flying ourselves by the time we were 20, but instead we inherited the disillusion and anger of punk, a generation that defined itself by the phrase "no future." To me, Scharf is a visionary and the perfect artist to paint a plane. Really, that's why I'm here."
Though no partnership between the project and the museum are in the works, McCormick says, the talk will be an opportunity to give the audience "a broader context for where the project fits into the greater narrative of art history" and will include stories and information he's been collecting for more than a year on the history of plane art and military ephemera.
"I hope [those who attend] all go home, flap their arms, and try to fly," says McCormick. "It doesn't matter if no one gets airborne, there are flights of fancy that can take us just as far."
McCormick and Firestone will discuss the future of the project this Saturday at MOCA Tucson at 5 p.m. The event is free for members and $15 for non-members. Seating is limited. For more information and reservations, check out the MOCA Tucson website.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.