Richard Wilks’ Evotrope

Meet the Artists of No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man

An image of a three man bike with a big wheel in the center that you can spin.

Richard Wilks, Evotrope. Photo by Libby Weiler.

On view from March 30, 2018 to September 16, 2018

Evotrope, a giant mobile zoetrope, is just one of several imaginative vehicles Richard Wilks has designed for Burning Man, working primarily with steel and aluminum and using a combination of physical and digital tools. Participants animate the artwork using the hand-crank and, in the dark of night, strobing lights bring the spinning images to life.

A Los Angeles–based artist, graphic designer, and builder/maker, Wilks received his B.F.A. in 1988 from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, then got his start with Walt Disney Imagineering, conceptualizing environments for theme parks. Today, he works as a creative hybrid: artist, graphic designer, builder/maker, inventor, and seeker. A sense of connection to the natural world inspires him, and he often focuses on environmental themes, which he translates with a distinctively human touch influenced by Burning Man, the maker movement, and 1970s bike culture.

Beyond Burning Man, Wilks has exhibited his mobile art sculptures at museums, galleries, and art fairs in California and New York. His Cupcake Car, which appeared on the 2015 season premiere of The Bachelorette, has proven particularly popular both on and off the playa.

No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man brings the large-scale, participatory work from this desert gathering to the nation’s capital for the first time. The exhibition takes over the entire Renwick Gallery building and surrounding Golden Triangle neighborhood, bringing alive the maker culture and creative spirit of this cultural movement.

Meet the Artist Video