Graffiti Town is an abandoned mine, also known as the Three Kids Mine located in the desert south of Las Vegas, NV.
This photo set was actually shot in 2019 as part of an ongoing series called Post-Apocalyptic Photography or Visions of the Apocalypse. I’ve been working on this series for some time and it continues to expand and evolve as I discover new and interesting abandoned locations to add to the series.
Graffiti Town is a fascinating location, not more than 10 minutes drive from my house, but it sits in the middle of a desolate and inhospitable desert landscape.
When I first found this location I wasn’t even sure what it was and had no idea what it was called, so I named it Graffiti Town, due to the massive amount of stunning graffiti that had been deposited here for who knew how long. During my research I learned that the site was actually a manganese mine that started producing around 1917 during WWI, and it was named The Three Kids Mine. No idea why it was called that.
The Giant pool looking structures are actually vats for processing the raw ore and they give the entire site a very sci-fi / dystopian feel. In fact the site was used as a location in two separate movies after it was closed permanently in 1961.
The graffiti started sometime around 2012 by a Las Vegas street artist / activist that goes by the name Aware_Indecline. He created a monster exhibit called “Wheel of Misfortune” which covered the entire floor of a single vat. I estimated the square footage of that mural and it appears to encompass an area of almost 10,000 square feet.
The entire history of Graffiti Town is not currently documented anywhere that I can find online, but I’ll keep looking and if anything new shows up, I’ll share it
I first noticed the location while driving to Lake Mead on another photo shoot. I had driven past the spot dozens of times before, but the day I noticed it, some graffiti caught my eye from the road and I slowed to see what it was. Unable to see much from the road, because it was still dark, I kept driving and went to my previously planned shoot, and told my wife I would go back and explore the area to see what it was.
Months went by and I was out driving around looking for a spot to shoot some night photography, and I remembered that spot. So I went out there, walked out into the desert and there was a structure totally covered in graffiti. I was nervous about being there, so I only stayed a short time, but managed to get some pretty cool photos.
Not satisfied with the few shots I got, and knowing there was more to the place, I decided to go back out a couple months later, this time during the day. And was completely blown away by the scale of the compound, but even more so by the scope of the artwork that now covers the entire site.
I also went back on a separate occasion during the night again to shoot the entire site as part of my Night Ops Project.
Every time I go on a shooting expedition I have a simple plan in mind. My focus is to document locations that are not often visited by others, find landscapes that have a certain look to them, and embody the visual spirit of a post-apocalyptic world. This whole fascination with nuclear war, Armageddon, the apocalypse or end of the world was inspired at a very young age and I’ve only recently begun the journey of capturing this vision with my photography. The tagline for my photography is Radioactive – Massively Creative, Explosive Design.
This photo set is a collection of almost 40 images. Hope you enjoy.