Dream Machine: Towering Space Mushroom
Las Vegas, Nevada
Wayne Littlejohn's "Dream Machine" towers 26 feet above the baked hardpan of Las Vegas, undulating in the desert sun. It's made of stainless steel, brass, copper, and polished aluminum, highlighted with "Oriental Blue Candy," a UV-resistant auto paint.
The sculpture stands at the entrance to Siegfried and Roy Park, across from Las Vegas International Airport. The city had said that any art in Siegfried and Roy Park had to incorporate themes of magic, aviation, or Siegfried and Roy -- but it gave Dream Machine a pass because Clark County officials liked it so much.
The sculpture twists up (or down, like an alien jellyfish) from a spiral path that leads to its base, surrounded with concentric landscaped rings like shock waves rippling outward. Littlejohn has claimed various inspirations for Dream Machine, including stealth fighters and nuclear fireballs. In a statement he released to the press, he said that the sculpture "arises from the earth like some mysterious atomic love child of dust devils and drones."
The sculpture took two years to complete, much of it spent figuring out a way for it to stay safely upright. Littlejohn has said that if any place on earth had the engineers who could make a large, oddly-shaped metal thing that could withstand wind, dust, and daily temperature extremes, it was Las Vegas.
At its dedication on December 13, 2016, Clark County Commissioner Mary Beth Scow called Dream Machine "captivating" and said it offered visual proof that "we're a real community that appreciates public art."