When Johnny Cash said he wanted to perform a concert at Folsom Prison, everyone told him no. They said it would ruin his career; it was a bad idea. Cash persisted, and to this day, his performance for the guards and inmates at Folsom Prison remains one the most memorable and transformative events of his career. In that one performance Johnny Cash was transformed into a super-star, and firmly cemented himself in the history of Folsom.
It was Cash’s ability to see things from a unique perspective that called him to perform at Folsom, and this is the inspiration behind Folsom Prison Blues. As you approach the 15-foot high laser cut steel bars, it may seem as though prison bars were the only inspiration behind this art. In fact, from nearly every single angle this art piece appears to be a simple set of steel bars. But from one single perspective, you can see something remarkable: a young Johnny Cash, playing his guitar, just as he did that day in 1968 for Folsom Prison inmates and guards.