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Visual Arts

04 Oct 2013
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Ryan “Motel” Campbell is asked how he’d categorize his art. He pauses to contemplate. “I’d say that my work is … contemporary, fluid motion, cubist, urban, contemporary.” He laughs. “That’s the short version,” he adds. The description (aside from the two mentions of “contemporary,” perhaps) actually fits Campbell’s works nicely—as everyone can see at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 16, when Campbell will paint a 10-foot-by-5-foot mural live, as part of the Coachella Valley Independent’s Official Launch Party. The Independent is celebrating our one-year anniversary online, as well as the launch of our monthly edition, with free drinks from 6 to 8 p.m.; a DJ set by All Night Shoes; and the live creation of the mural on canvas, which will later be donated to the LGBT Community Center of the Desert, for the organization’s silent auction at the Center Stage event. Campbell, 32, is an accomplished artist whose works and…
10 Sep 2013
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The Coachella Valley has a rich artistic culture spanning thousands of years—long before Palm Springs became known for golf courses, swanky shopping and mid-century architecture. The Agua Caliente Tribe of Cahuilla Indians hailed nature as a source of a spiritual presence. The earth was a most important aspect in their lives, as were the waters and the majestic mountains and skies. Much of the Agua Caliente culture originates from nature, such as the story of the Blue Frog and the traditional “bird songs” that have been passed down though the generations. Intricate basket-weaving is celebrated today in exhibitions throughout the valley—part of a treasure trove secured by the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum. To learn about and be enriched by Agua Caliente culture, there is no place better than this museum, currently situated at 219 S. Palm Canyon Drive. I recently met with Michael Hammond, the executive director of the museum…
06 Sep 2013
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The Palm Springs Art Museum’s current show at their Palm Desert Campus looks at the relationship between around 15 artists’ sculptures and their works on paper. Across Dimensions: Graphics and Sculpture From the Permanent Collection includes artists both well-known—Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, Ellsworth Kelly and Jim Dine, for example—and lesser-known, including Dan Namingha, John Buck and Robert Hudson. On one level, the show asks the question: Does this artist, by working in two media, create synergies or a sense of continuity that furthers that artist’s vision? The show answers with a resounding yes in some ways—although the exhibit does show some weaknesses. Using only artwork only from the museum’s permanent collection offers both good and bad news. The positive? The curators have a defined body of work from which to choose, and their knowledge of the collection produced some well-thought-out and synergistic pairings. But other pairings seemed contrived and/or forced.…
13 Aug 2013
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When you see Cristopher Cichocki's art installations, you senses will experience contradiction. He’s an organic artist, yet his works are illuminated by his signature neon paint, and often black lighting, creating an edgy yet natural composition. He brings attention to his underlying theme: the collision of man and nature. Cichocki is the Palm Springs Art Museum’s 2013 Artist-in-Residence. His large-scale installation Desert Abyss: Cycle in Cycle opens Friday, Aug. 16, and will be on display through Saturday, Sept. 28. (Editor's note: The exhibit has been extended to run through Oct. 27.) He often uses materials found in nature—such as on the desert floor. His works of art merge photography, painting, sculpture, video, sound and installation, creating a multi-sensory experience. Art-lovers raved about his Epicenter exhibition, at the Pacific Design Center's See Line Gallery in West Hollywood, earlier this year. The Illinois native and Coachella Valley resident has been inspired by…
16 Jul 2013
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For some 200 years, artists have been attracted to the Coachella Valley. The reasons for that attraction have changed over the years, of course; today, many artists come here to create and exhibit their works due to the proximity to Los Angeles, and the valley’s comfortable lifestyle. One artist who has come here, in part, for those reasons is Christina De Musée. She has a rich body of work spanning more than 30 years as a professional artist, including countless exhibitions throughout the country around the globe—including shows in Japan, Switzerland, Germany, the United Kingdom and Canada. Her works have been featured in numerous publications, too. Her style is bold, colorful, bright and larger than life. Her powerful, seductive images tend to capture one’s attention from the moment you lay eyes on them. Large triptychs can overwhelm, but hers somehow easily merge with any location. They have been a favorite…
02 Jul 2013
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The Desert Art Collection and Sculpture Garden, located in the heart of Palm Desert’s tony El Paseo district, is a true gem. The tucked-away location, at 45350 San Luis Rey Ave. (just south of El Paseo), is a stone’s throw from the iconic eateries, luxury stores and boutique shops that have made El Paseo a place of choice for designer fashion and world-class art. The unique building is one of the oldest in the area and offers an inviting, well-designed space. Bright decorative flags waving from the entrance welcome visitors into this elegant building. The artisan metal doors open to a delightful courtyard with wonderful sculpture. One experiences serenity and aesthetic enjoyment, thanks to bright colors and beautiful stone creations in the garden courtyard. The gallery features an array of North American artists and sculptors that are all award-winning in their respective mediums. Credit the fine curating by the director,…