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Today, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art revealed the latest creation by Berkeley-born  Michael Heizer“Levitated Mass,” a 340-ton granite boulder that is positioned to appear as though it is floating in midair. Heizer attended the San Francisco Art Institute between 1963 and 1964 and had planned to create Levitated Mass for over 40 years, but first had to locate the perfect rock, which he found in a quarry on the outskirts of Riverside, about 105 miles away from the museum, about seven years ago.

The two-story-tall boulder required dozens of people and a specially-built trailer to haul it from the Riverside quarry to its current position above a 465-foot trench in which museum visitors can stroll. The rock, overhead, appears to be floating in midair! The two-week journey of the rock occurred only at night and rarely above 5 mph as it traversed 22 cities, sometimes with thousands of cheering spectators. To thank those inconvenienced, the museum is giving free admission for a week to those with zip codes from areas traversed by the rock. The rock will remain over the trench permanently, or as permanently as ANYTHING in earthquake-prone California. 😉

Heizer, 67, who rarely appears in public, showed up for the ribbon cutting and led the first group of people under the rock. He waved and shook hands with museum officials and art enthusiasts along the way. The museum also opened an exhibit of Heizer’s photography today, entitled, “Michael Heizer: Actual Size,” – more than a dozen gigantic photographs showing other works by the artist.

Heizer is perhaps best known for his work, “Double Negative,” a 1,500-foot-long land sculpture cut into a desert mesa in the Moapa Valley, near Overton, Nevada.

-Bill at

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