Spring has arrived and so has Coachella, which means that holds of lux-hippie girls and boys are flocking to the desert for 2017 edition of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. In addition to the top-billed musicians (Lady Gaga covered Beyonce who pulled out because of her pregnancy), the event has become known as a stage for some of the best from the arts, design and architecture to create a large-scale (and instagram-friendly) stage for the festival.
Besides Robert Boses “balloon Chain” and Don Kennel’s “Big Bear”With the first weekend already in our diaries, we cover you with the best art/architecture installations from this year’s festival.
Chiaozza Garden / Chiaozza
“We want to create a visual bath, something you can explore and get lost in,” says Adam Frezza of the duo Chiaozza – like “wobbly” islands and a greenhouse full of imaginary plants – he makes with partner Terri Chiao. As Chiaozza (pronounced like “wowza”), the Brooklyn-based artists spent three months in the Coachella Valley constructing a nearly acre-spanning landscape of whimsical geographic features. Chiaozza’s palette consists of a wash of pastels and high-key fluorescents coming from “falling in love over and over again with the atmosphere of the desert, the bleached out feelings of midday and the magic glow at dusk,” Chiao says.
Strolling through Chiaozza’s buoyant garden is about being present in the moment, to “find a beautiful spot to spend some time, a place to rest, or to run around and be excited with the world around you.”
Lamp Beside the Golden Door / Gustavo Prado
For the Brazilian artist Gustavo Prado, migration doesn’t end with the actual move. Then there’s the ongoing effort of determining “how much of your original self you’d want to maintain” and how much to “leave behind,” says Prado (who emigrated to the United States six years ago). For his “lighthouse” (the uppermost curve pointing south toward another country), Prado arranged thousands of rounded mirrors at “concurrent yet separated angles” to create a tower from light-catching fragments. Few things seem more isolating than a selfie – or, better yet, a mirror selfie – but self-reflection broadens into inclusion for Prado, who studied industrial design and philosophy before turning his attention to art.
Crown Ether / Olalekan Jeyifous
In “Crown Ether,” a community on columns rises towards the sky, exploring the “relationship of the terrestrial to the sublime,” explains Brooklyn-based artist Olalekan Jeyifous, who spent part of his childhood in Nigeria. Like much of his work, the title belies an interest in both the symbolic and the scientific, referring to the cyclic compound molecules that cluster in the form of a ring. These sculptures, too, crowning trunk-like pillars, gather towards each other in a circle, “like a coming together of people around the music and the arts,” says the Cornell-trained architect.
Is This What Brings Things Into Focus?/joanne Tatham And Tom O’sullivan
Like the ancient fable about the blind man and the elephant, UK-based artists Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan create work that is observable only in sections but larger than its individual parts. “I’ve been thinking about how to make a work that both fits and doesn’t,” she says, of anti-monuments at once grand and awkward, or like “the elephant in the room.” In the photographic evidence of this year’s Coachella, the duo’s “herd” – rising up to six stories (75 feet) – will almost certainly be unintentional photobombers.