Bassoff calls lizard creation ‘very striking’



KINGMAN – Solomon Bassoff continues constructing a concrete creature that will soon decorate downtown Kingman. The City Council authorized a $10,000 expenditure for the California artist to give life to a Chuckwalla lizard through the Arts in Public Places program.


When finished, the sculpture will serve as a conservation piece and a photo opportunity for visitors and locals alike. Bassoff has designed the piece to accommodate kids’ play, too, a coveted feature.



Bassoff said he used steel to build the armature that provides the basic shape. Layers of hand-formed concrete allow him to detail its final form and countenance.


“I want to give it a bit more character than just a frozen piece of steel and cement,” Bassoff said. “The whole back of the piece is three-eighths-inch glass tile. It’s just a wonderful tile from Italy. It has an iridescence to it and a lot of variation so the whole back of the chuckwalla will have this glass inlaid in back of it and then the legs, the tail and the head.”


Bassoff said he has not labeled this lizard, but that sponsors sometimes have contests to name his creations.


“It’s a wonderful honor to be able to create a sculpture for a community because kids and families will interact with it and many of my pieces have become popular icons for a community,” Bassoff said. “With this piece I am happy with how the texture came out and the pattern of the concrete with the glass on it is very striking.”


Bassoff said the piece that is about three feet tall and four feet wide and weighs more than 1,300 pounds. He said it should be ready to be trucked to Kingman in late January or early February.



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