Last year, outsider artist Kyle Siler had a vision: to build a roadside attraction that would put tiny Westport, California on the map. A seaside village nearly four hours north of San Francisco by car, Westport is currently best known as the home of an annual rubber ducky race.
But Siler, a/k/a Carlos Amigos, a/k/a Relis Elyk, has a bigger non-fish to fry. By his 40th birthday in June of next year, he plans to build a cement sperm whale named “Queequeg,” after the Polynesian harpooneer in Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. Siler is blogging about the project, which now consists of an empty moat and a cement pad for his future whale. There’s a link on the blog where you can support the effort by paying $20 for a personalized, whale-shaped tile to be cemented into the future attraction’s sidewalk. (We’ve got ours.)
When he saw his vision last September, Siler had never built anything like this. But since then, he has set about learning the crafts of whalemaking—including creating a metal skeleton for the hollow structure—with a monomania worthy of Moby Dick’s would-be assassin, he says. “I feel like Capt Ahab in my pursuit of Cement Sculpture,” Siler wrote in an email yesterday. “I’ll be welding next week!”
Margaret Guroff is editor and publisher of Power Moby-Dick.