The Mantis is a 40 foot long Mad Maxian creature fabricated mostly out of steel, built atop a 1983 GMC Dump Truck. She is a mobile art piece complete with stunning paint job, powerful stereo and pseudo paramilitary feel. She was made by married couple Kirk Jellum and Kristen Ulmer (founders of Mantis Entertainment) as a gift to the citizens of Black Rock City, otherwise known as Burning Man. After two years attending Burning Man, she is now owned by Tony Hsieh and will be permanently housed in downtown Las Vegas.
The Mantis is a 150 scale replica of a female Praying Mantis; a creature known both for its stillness and patience and for its predatory eeriness.
When in it’s full glory, The Mantis is 40 feet long, 30 feet wide and the top of the flame throwers stand at 55 feet high. She holds up to 30 people on her back. In this state she seems futuristic, post apocalyptic… as if she’s a PREYing Mantis creeping down the road, complete with flame shooting out her antennae. Then, once stationary and passenger-less, she rises up to full glory and turns into a PRAYing Mantis. The music choices during these alternate states aid in her feel and mystique. Her head moves in four directions with passenger input. At night her eyes become a dance of green lasers. The duel flame throwers off he antennae are the punctuation mark to this both beautiful and horrific creature.