"Sabato Rodia's Towers in Watts: Art, Migrations, Development is one of the most exciting collections of essays I have read in a long time. It does so much more than explore the fascinating history of Rodia's unique creation; this volume truly captures the rich, variegated, diverse, and transcontinental human drama surrounding the Towers. This book approaches Rodia's Towers much like a visitor would, by taking them in from a distance and then close-up, seeking various angles and perspectives and exploring their setting. This approach makes reading Sabato Rodia's Towers in Watts an experience and a journey of discovery where, in the end, the mysteries merge into a grand revelation of the nature of human creative aspiration."
--Paul D'Ambrosio, President and CEO, Fenimore Art Museum & The Farmers' Museum
"Sabato Rodia's Towers in Watts offers a rich array of perspectives on the creative work of the eccentric immigrant laborer who created one of the most mysterious landmarks of Los Angeles. Whether they are interested in untrained artists, folklore, immigration, cultural and class politics, historical preservation, Italian American life, or multi-cultural neighborhoods and their identities, readers will find unique and diverse provocations in this lovingly and astutely assembled book."
--Donna Gabaccia, Professor of History, University of Minnesota
The extraordinary Watts Towers were created over the course of three decades by a determined, single-minded artist, Sabato Rodia, a highly remarkable Italian immigrant laborer who wanted to do "something big." Now a National Historic Landmark and internationally renowned destination, the Watts Towers in Los Angeles are both a personal artistic expression and a collective symbol of Nuestro Pueblo-Our Town/Our People. Featuring fresh and innovative examinations that mine deeper and broader than ever before, Sabato Rodia's Towers in Watts is a much anticipated revisitation of the man and his towers.
Contributors: Augustine Aguirre, Katia Ballacchino, Monica Barra, Guglielmo Bilancioni, Gail Brown, Brad Byer, Richard Candida Smith, Felice Ceparano, Charles Dickson, George Epolito, Paul A. Harris, Thomas Harrison, Shirmel Hayden, Jo Farb Hernandez, Jeffrey Herr, Rosie Lee Hooks, Edward Landler, Jeanne Morgan, John Outterbridge, Judson Powell, Laura Ruberto, Betye Saar, Kenneth Scambray, Sarah Schrank, Joseph Sciorra
576 pages | 100 b/w illustrations | 7 x 10 "
$45.00 paper|simultaneous electronic edition available
This publication is made possible, in part, by a grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and from the Istituto Italiano di Cultura (the Italian Cultural Institute, Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
A portion of all royalties will benefit the Watts Towers Arts Center.