La Capella di Maria

Gardiner, NY, USA

Maria del Camino

The art car Maria del Camino on the playa at Burning Man 2018

Black Rock City, NV, USA

Last year, at Burning Man, we made the acquaintance of the remarkable Maria del Camino, and her creator, the artist-engineer Bruce Tomb. Maria, for those who haven’t had the pleasure, is the body of a 1959 El Camino, mounted on a tracked chassis that originally belonged to a Komatsu excavator. In case that doesn't seem improbable enough, Maria’s hull has been drilled – manually – with thousands of small holes, creating a filigree pattern. Her name derives from the fact that the patterns drilled into the hood form the image of the False Maria from Fritz Lang’s 1927 film “Metropolis”.

One of the spin-off artworks that Bruce has created is a wet-print of the hood on canvas, which he has christened the Shroud of Maria. This unusual artwork ended up in the hands of architect Matt Bialecki, who decided to properly honor it by making it the centerpiece of a small art gallery – or ‘chapel’ – at his home in Gardiner, NY.

The Capella di Nuestra Señora Maria del Camino was officially inaugurated on July 6th. At the invitation of Bruce Tomb, I went along to take photographs of this historic occasion.