I saw some snakes in Detroit the other day. They weren’t the ordinary slithering, winding dollar sign moving reptiles that are common in woodlands and swampy bogs. The snakes I spotted were quite large. They were deep black, evil-looking creatures that don’t move about the field and grass. They are in the same place both day and night. The unusual, creepy looking reptiles are sitting on top of an embankment that lines Trumbull Avenue near Lincoln Street.
The scaly creatures are sculptures. They are made from reclaimed logs and other cast-away materials that include bicycle tires and tubes. The various sized logs are wrapped in scrap bicycle tires, with the tread out, creating remarkable reptile look-a-likes. The knobby bike tires have a crusty rough texture, oddly similar to the skin of a snake, lizard, crocodile or other cold-blooded scaly animals.
A couple of the snarly faces on the unique pieces have long textured tongues and stringy facial features made from thin black rubber bike tubes. Countless hanging entrails and legs dangle from some of them and they too are made from a variety of shredded rubber tires and tubes. In many cases, the rubber pieces used to build the slim sculptures are held in place using colorful bottle caps. The long tongues, facial accents and multi-length innards sway gently in the daytime breeze, as if they were alive and breathing.