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Coachella 2023 Displays Architecture, Color, and Scale

On April 14th, 2023, the Coachella Valley Music Festival, a yearly music and art event hosted in the desert of Colorado, will begin. Four upcoming designers and artists from around the world will put their mark on the renowned environment over the two weekends of April 14–16 and April 21–23, 2023. Nine international designers, artists, and collectives will each create an installation for the festival.

The newly-commissioned sculptural works by Kumkum Fernando, Vincent Leroy, Güvenç Özel, and Maggie West lend color, light, and alternate perspectives to the charged atmosphere and act as fresh, colorful, and architectural beacons that transform the iconic Coachella landscape at various times of day and night.

Along with the freshly commissioned pieces, the festival will also showcase many returning artists. This year, “The Balloon Guy,” Robert Bose, will make a comeback with Balloon Chain. Balloon Chain has been a distinguishing characteristic of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival for more than ten years as it has dominated the sky over Indio.

Do LaB, a Los Angeles-based creative agency will have innovative stage designs at the Coachella Valley Music and Art Festival. “Mustang,” DKLA Design’s most recent contribution to the Music and Art Festival, was designed. The fourth year of the festival saw the return of the UK-based art and design studio NEWSUBSTANCE with “SPECTRA.”

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Last but not least, Marnie L. Navarro is a multimedia artist residing in the Coachella Valley who revived “Raices Cultura,” a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowerment via artistic self-expression and cultural inclusion. Discover some of the installations at this year’s Coachella, along with descriptions from the artists, by reading on.

Kumkum Fernando / The Messengers

At first glance, Kumkum Fernando’s three towering sculptures resemble huge robots or action figures. However, his “idols”—arranged in a row to create a vibrant gathering place—pack a ton of symbolism into their larger-than-life bodies. The vibrant colors of South Asian art and architecture, particularly Tibetan and Hindu temples, as well as folktales with gods and devils that resound from their infancy, serve as inspiration for the Sri Lankan artist who lives and works in Vietnam.

Fernando started by gathering things with various iconography, patterns, and other things. Since then, it has developed into a daring, continuous vision of these discovered objects as modern art pieces—impressively crafted “idols,” each with a poetic tale element created by the artist himself.

Vincent Leroy / Molecular Cloud

French artist Vincent Leroy, who currently resides in Paris, conjures up weird molecular clouds in Molecular Cloud as light, glossy inflatable items floating above the expansive green expanse of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. The artwork undergoes slow, fluid, and stunning transformations that take the form of bizarre, organic shapes that capture the festival’s celebration.

Molecular Cloud’s mirrored surfaces reflect the ground, people, and sky, and as you get closer to the large mobiles, the reflected orbs merge with the surroundings in a hypnotic and phantasmagorical spectacle that plays with your vision and distances you from reality.

Güvenç Özel / Holoflux

Güvenç Zel, a critical technologist and cyber-physical architect located in Los Angeles, addresses the full range of human experience, from the physical to the virtual. A sculpture from afar, zel’s 60-foot-tall Holoflux becomes architecture as you get closer: The artwork’s vinyl color gradient surface print plays with our ideas of three-dimensionality, and you can walk below and around it. We socialize, conduct business, and express ourselves more through digital media than through actual human encounters, according to Zel, who claims that “our realities are no longer limited to the physical world.”

Maggie West / Eden

The work of Maggie West lies at the nexus of reality and fantasy. She has made one of the biggest 3-D photography installations in the world for Coachella by duplicating her floral images on 20 steel towers that are 6 to 56 feet tall and clad in wood and vinyl. The Los Angeles-based artist photographed several florae in two color schemes for Eden: warm (peach, gold, white, or pink) and cool (blue, teal, indigo, and lavender). She colors her photos with lighting rather than Photoshop.

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The use of color is crucial to West’s creative process. “Color is a potent component of our view of the world, and I love to capture bits of the natural world inside of manufactured landscapes. My art encourages viewers to take a deeper look at some of the wildlife they may take for granted by capturing common items with a variety of colored lights, says Maggie West.


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