Sabato “Simon” Rodia (April 15, 1875 – July 16, 1965) was an outsider artist who built the Watts Towers – an infamous Los Angeles landmark. Simon began construction of the Watts Towers in 1921, but did not finish them until 1954.
From the ArtJunction website: “Located in south Los Angeles, in a community known as Watts, stands a monument to one man’s spirit, ingenuity, and determination. Built single-handedly by Simon Rodia over a period of 34 years, the Watts Towers consists of 17 separate sculptural forms made of steel and covered with cement mortar embedded with pieces of ceramic tile, pottery shards, sea shells, and broken glass. The tallest tower is nearly 100 feet high.” To read the full article, please click here.
View a short documentary created in 1957 on Simon and the Watts Towers:
A beautiful photo documentary of the Watts Towers can be found here.
An additional detailed article about how the Towers were almost demolished can be found here.