COACHELLA has become famous as a music event where celebrities join the crowd to watch superstars as well as up-and-coming acts.
But let’s not forget that this annual gathering is also an arts festival.
The new artworks on exhibit at Coachella this year did not have such eye-catchers as last year’s handcrafted caterpillars transforming into roaming rainbow butterflies. However, this year’s pieces were just as intricate, innovative and mind-blowing.
The interesting variety and sheer sizes of the works of visual artists from different parts of the world complete the fantastic Coachella experience.
Here are some of the most of striking pieces from Coachella 2016:
“Besame Mucho,” R&R Studios, Argentina (Roberto Behar and Rosario Marquardt)
This installation was the first to catch my attention at Coachella Weekend 2. The seemingly simple concept of flower-covered letters was a true beauty that became a spot for all festival-goers to not only admire, but also use as background for selfies, couple shots, #ootds.
“Besame Mucho,” or “kiss me a lot” in English, was inspired by lyrics from the classic 1940 song of the same title by Consuelo Velazquez. Just as the line reflects intimacy, this 130 x 28-inch piece served as backdrop for many who sat on the grass while hearing the performances from the Coachella Main Stage.
The creators related “Besame Mucho” to how California is equated with freedom.
Follow on Instagram @rrstudiosmiami; visit www.rr-studios.com
“Sneaking Into the Snow,” Date Farmers, Coachella (Armando Lerma and Carlos Ramirez)
This one seemed like it had a message stronger than how it looked. True enough, the artists said they “hope the title would show the audience a small slice of the life only a few miles from the perfectly manicured festival grounds.”
The Date Farmers consist of Coachella-based artists Armando Lerma and Carlos Ramirez whose works usually reflect, the caption read, the “lives and traditions of the area’s Mexican farm worker community.” This 30-ft-high sculpture made of painted wood consists of two figures and low-rider bicycle.
“Katrina Chairs,” Alexandre Arrechea, Cuba
These four giant yellow chairs stood out from all angles. Up close, it was interesting to see the clean finish and monochrome color. Closely identical, these four chairs formed a square shape.
To Cuban artist Arrechea, his work’s bigger purpose, the work’s caption said, is “to elevate an entire community.”
Most fascinating about this installation was the four different neon-colored lights from inside each chair.
Follow on Instagram @alexandrearrechea; visit alexandrearrechea.com
“Tower of Twelve Stories,” Jimenez Lai, Taiwan/Canada
Fully covered with clean white paint, this 52-ft-high structure showed several different shapes that ended up fitting perfectly together. At night, this piece came to life as the mixture of colors, images and light mesmerized the audience.
Architect Lai’s vision was focused on, the caption read, a “cartoonish metropolis of tiny, bubble-like spaces populated by eccentric characters.”
Follow on Instagram @0super; visit bureau-spectacular.net
“Armpit,” Katrina Neiburga and Andris Eglitis
This installation was the most interactive. It was only by chance that I was able to see, with four friends, the multimedia installations.
Upon entering, you’re led through a garage and tree house like a mini maze with different structured works—some laid out on multiple TV sets playing a distinctive sequence.
At the end of the trail, you’re led to a balcony with an elevated 180-degree view of the festival grounds.
E-mail the author at ngthorp@
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