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Coachella 2017: Colorful Art Installations

Artistic Inspiration

While the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has always revolved around music, the festival’s most unique and enduring images – and those most likely to grace fans’ selfies and profile pictures – are the large-scale art installations. Each year, the festival commissions an international cast of artists to conceive original, site-specific works for its vast campgrounds. A mix of established and up-and-coming artists contribute public art pieces to be experienced and enjoyed by an ever-changing audience. This year’s four major art works, including one that’s 75 feet tall and another that takes up more than an acre of the grassy festival grounds, are all about architectural scale and visual impact.


Coachella Festival Grounds


‘Is This What Brings Things Into Focus?’ by Joanne Tatham and Tom O’sullivan

UK-based artists Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan have built one of Coachella’s largest art installations to date. ‘Is This What Brings Things Into Focus?’ is a tableau of monumental mammals and strangely shaped animal figures with vibrantly patterned skin. Rising up to six stories, the enormous characters are the festival’s unintentional photobombers.


‘Is This What Brings Things Into Focus?’ by Joanne Tatham and Tom O’sullivan


‘Chiaozza Garden’ by Chiaozza

Brooklyn-based studio Chiaozza has realized a nearly acre-spanning landscape of whimsical imaginary plants in a palette of pastel and fluorescent tones. For ‘Chiaozza Garden’, more than thirty sculptural species sprout around the campgrounds, each built by hand and covered in colored stucco.


‘Chiaozza Garden’ by Chiaozza


‘Crown Ether’ by Olalekan Jeyifous

Like an elevated treehouse village that offers shade and a gathering spot to viewers underneath, artist Olalekan Jeyifous’s “Crown Ether” serves as a spot for Coachella goers to meet and rest. Jeyifous created a ‘community on columns’ that rises high into the sky, creating an unattainable building above the landscape.


‘Lamp Beside the Golden Door’ by Gustavo Prado

Brazilian artist Gustavo Prado references themes of migration with his reflective installation ‘Lamp Beside the Golden Door’. Prado arranged a mass of rounded mirrors at various angles to create a tower that catches fragments of light as the day progresses. The installation takes its title from the last line of Emma Lazarus’ poem inscribed at the Statue of Liberty.

All Photographs Taken By Leslie Kirchhoff, Used with Permission