It was just like they promised, bigger and better!
Coachella is the mecca of all things beautiful. Be it music or people. And from this year, art as well. The festival promised that the art in this year’s edition would be on a much larger scale than any of the years before, and they delivered!
Here are 9 of the best art pieces from this year’s edition
1. Katrina Chairs by Alexandre Arrechea
A chair’s function is pretty basic. It should provide enough support and stability for at least one person to comfortably sit on it. Artist Alexandre Arrechea took this concept and made it bigger with his art installation ‘Katrina Chairs’, to elevate and support an entire community. Thus, we had the four massive 50 feet tall and 19 feet wide bright yellow chairs adorning the lands of the music festival. Arrechea came upon the idea after he witnessed the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, after which he began to visualize a massive and most importantly, stable foundation for society. Inspired from a watercolour painting that he made based on this idea, the art was exclusively commissioned by Coachella organizers.
2. Balloon Chains by Robert Bose
Just like high fashion and gourmet food are part of the Coachella experience, so are the pretty balloon chains made by Robert Bose. Any Coachella regular will recognise them, as they have been seen at the festival for over six years now. It’s a string of these happy helium bags floating over the crowd dancing and swaying to the South California breeze. Simple and tasteful, Coachella is not the only festival lucky enough to host these chains. They have been spotted at New York’s Governor’s Ball and they are definitely a festival favourite!
3. Sneaking Into The Show by the Date Farmers
There is the Coachella that everyone knows, the fun music festival that is the biggest assembly of modern day hippies and flower crowns. And then there is the other Coachella. The city, situated in the eastern side of the valley, is where some say the music festival takes it’s name from, much to the dismay of the residents. The city atmosphere is quite unlike that of the festival. because of rampant gang rivalries, street fights and increasing crime. It is from such a setting that the Date Farmers, Carlos Ramirez and Armando Lerma hail from. The social message in their art is as subtle as their installation itself. Called ‘Sneaking Into The Show’, it represents the struggle the Latino community of Coachella city have with representation of their culture, most particularly in the festival itself.
4. Raices cultura at Coachella
Raices Cultura is a Coachella based not for profit organisation that aims to create and nourish spaces where artists can creatively express. It is a brilliant initiative by a group of ambitious and creative people and is being recognised by the Coachella committee for their hard work in bringing about a more cohesive art scene in the valley. Their artists got together an built some really kick ass art at the festival this year. Their team comprises of artists from every age group, which is probably the reason it is so multi-dimensional and creative.
5. Tower of Twelve Stories by Jimenez Lai
Another interesting art piece that explores the concept of space and its relation to us. Artist Jimenez Lai put up ‘Tower of Twelve Stories’, an art piece that explored the typical city skyscraper in a different way. So ordinary and dull are the structures of the skyscrapers that they manage to adapt to the image of any business that occupies them. Thus, Lai suggests an alternative method of building, where each room and floor are given quirky shapes, which are populated by eccentric individuals.
6. Portals by Philip K. Smith
Festival favourite, Philip K. Smith came out with another smashing art installation this year. For long, the artist has been intrigued by the brilliant lighting that the desert receives. So this year, he decided to experiment with this very aspect and thus ‘Portals’ was born. Combining ideas with his previous projects that played with light and sounds, he installed a giant ring bang in the middle of the desert. “The all-white pavilion is a ring, 85 feet in diameter, with outer walls of 3-by-3-inch mirrored stainless steel columns angled toward the centre and reflecting a fractured view of the sky and crowd moving on the festival landscape”. The pavilion reflected the colours of the outside and contains seating spaces and grass spaces, where visitors can chill and spend time with the piece.
7. Besame Mucho by R & R Studios
Titled the most photographed piece in festival, or in Coachella terms, most #selfie worthy art piece, Besame Mucho was a hit. After all, the large sign that when translated, means ‘kiss me a lot’, fit in quite well in the happy vibe of the festival. It was one of the most anticipated installations as well as being described as ‘an architecture of emotions’. The installation was meant to invoke public pleasure, something that transcends time, space and locations.
8. Armpit by Katrina Neiburga and Andris Eglitis
Now this was one inspired piece of art, if not pure genius. Artist Katrina Neiburga designed the piece keeping the tendency of Soviet males to disappear in their garages under the excuse of ‘working on something’ in mind. It’s a curious tradition and the urge to get away from family for just a little while to go tinker and mess around with tools is something that satisfies men on a spiritual level, including her husband. Thus, armpit is an exploration of that. This is the kind of installation you have to actually see to completely understand. Its is equipped with 12 flat screen TVs that play videos of men, while working in their garages.
Here, you can watch this video for better understanding of the installation.
9. Jive Joint by Super Tall Paul and Rossome
Do Lab Stages are known for their wacky festival concepts. After all, they are the brains behind the insane success of Lightning in a Bottle. ‘The Jive Joint is an experiential Art Installation, featuring a colorful, cartoonish, Jazzy, New Orleans style house, complete with a front yard and white picket fence.’ Here, the artists entertain the special guests (you) with a series of performances like dancing, singing and on the spot music looping that leave you wanting for more. While you may not understand all of it, you sure as hell are going to love. This was another piece that was a total hit at the festival this year.