Day Tripping: Desert X

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In search of self-reflection? Desert X might have just what you’re looking for…literally. Read on.

From now until April 30th, Indio, CA and its surrounding desert is beckoning folks to immerse themselves in its newest site-specific art exhibition. Aptly titled “Desert X” (desert EXhibition), the show highlights sixteen different works by established and emerging artists like Doug Aitken and Gabriel Kuri.  “Projects will amplify and articulate global and local issues that may range from climate change to starry skies, from tribal culture and immigration to tourism, gaming, and golf. The art works, in various indoor and outdoor locations, will be available free and will offer visitors a way to see the valley and reflect on serious and playful issues through the lens of the participating artist’ creativity and work,” their website states. A few of my favorites follow…

Mirage, by Doug AitkenSituated atop a hill that overlooks Palm Springs, Mirage — a rancher constructed entirely of mirrored panels — offers a never-ending and always changing reflection of the desert landscape surrounding it. “Mirage presents a continually changing encounter in which subject and object, inside and outside are in constant flux. The structure suggests a latter-day architectural version of manifest destiny, a primary structure rendered by the artist without function, service or texture. With every available surface clad in mirror it both absorbs and reflects the landscape around in such ways that the exterior will seemingly disappear just as the interior draws the viewer into a kaleidoscope of light and reflection,” states Desert X. Mirage will be on display until October 31, 2017. Located at 1111 Racquet Club Drive, open 3:30-7pm M-F, and 7am-7pm Saturday and Sunday. Find additional information here…

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Curves and Zigzags, by Claudia Comte. In the quiet and vast Homme-Adams Park in Palm Desert stands a wall with a mind all its own, which not only plays tricks on the eyes, but the way they interpret shapes and pattern. “In Curves and Zigzags, the painting starts with a stringent geometric composition that gradually morphs into a more organic wave like pattern. Playing on the constant exchange of dualities – nature and culture, order and chaos, geometric and organic form – Comte’s wall suggests a walk through the shifting sands of abstraction and on to a place where beauty and contemplation sit side by side,” says Desert X. Notice how one side starts with strong angles and morphs into a smoother, more round pattern on the opposite end.

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The Circle of Land and Sea, by Phillip K Smith. My first stop at Desert X was Phillip K Smith’s exhibit. The Circle of Land and Sea is made of 300 reflective geometric shapes, each standing at a 10 degree angle, creating a perfect circle. Add changing times and weather, and you will never experience the same view twice. Desert X adds, “as the light shifts and the viewer moves through the installation, land and sky are separated, merged, and displaced, subverting one’s assumed relationship with the desert horizon. At times, the sky is pulled down to the land or the land lifted up to the sky, while the colors of the west may merge with the colors of the east. The Circle of Land and Sky defines a reflective space within the desert, composed entirely of the environment’s two most prominent physical characteristics — land and sky.”

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For more information and additional works of art, check out the Desert X website.

+What are your opinions on large scale art? 

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