Subject: R. Judson Powell
To: Interested Parties
Dear Interested Parties:
In August of 1965 the whole world looked on and wondered what was happening in Watts. Fires were burning. The National Guard roamed the streets in jeeps and personnel carriers armed with mounted machine guns. Parents and children were afraid. But the Towers of Simon Rodia in Watts were untouched and in no way harmed by all that was happening around them!
During what many refer to as "The Watts Riots",R. Judson Powell, pictured in an unknown newspaper clipping from 1966 and seated on the left, and Noah Purifoy, standing, were teaching art classes under a tarp covering the rebuilt frame of the burned out house that was once the home of the builder of the Watts Towers, Simon (Saboto) Rodia.
As both Powell and Purifoy, were fascinated by the melted down neon signs, the charred exploded remains of television sets, crashed and burned cars and the like, the two men collected what they decided were the most interesting aspects of the destruction and from that collection of "found objects" came...
Sixty-Six Signs of Neon.
R. Judson Powell
Adopting cut and broken glass and mirrors as his artistic medium, Judson has materialized his visions of assemblage through his early discovery of Rodia's uniquely amazing towers and his continued study of Dr. G. W. Carver and the application of Dr. Carver's principles.