Mark Mothersbaugh is making Ace Hotel’s pool an art installation for Desert Gold. He’s also making this kid an art installation, apparently. Stay gold this weekend, now.
Safe and Gold. 

Mark Mothersbaugh is making Ace Hotel’s pool an art installation for Desert Gold. He’s also making this kid an art installation, apparently. Stay gold this weekend, now.

Safe and Gold. 


Palm Springs, CA

There’s something about the desert that unbridles the creative spirit in us. It’s where Michel Foucault had an LSD vision quest in 1975. It’s The Desert Religions’ origins. And it has informed the work of artists and thinkers for millennia. Spring is creeping into the 70s in the Coachella Valley, and it’s got us revisiting our own desert experiences, absorbing others’ inspirational reactions to the desert and ready to explore a new or even a well-worn stretch of our favorite otherworldly landscapes. 

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Andrea Zittel’s High Desert Test Sites

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Garth’s Boulder Gardens

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Alma Allen: Sculptures

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Noah Purifoy’s Visions

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The Revolution of Charles Stephen Russell


Palm Springs, CA
This is a photograph from the lens of Chris Hornbecker. He’s taking over our Instagram feed for the week at Desert Gold. Blue skies and hard rock forthwith. 

Palm Springs, CA

This is a photograph from the lens of Chris Hornbecker. He’s taking over our Instagram feed for the week at Desert Gold. Blue skies and hard rock forthwith. 


Desert Gold 2014, Palm Springs


Palm Springs, CA
This is the finished Aaron de la Cruz mural he’s been creating at the Commune wall. It’s part of our Desert Gold kickoff. Time to hit the waves, sport some shortpants, and dance it out. 
In his interview he was kind enough to let out a signal flare that’s illuminating Desert Gold this year: we’re focusing extra attention on Latino artists, musicians and cultures.
The world is bursting with wonder, and sometimes it’s nice to have a lens to look through. So for now we’ll echo H. Valentine Miller: “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”


photo by Aaron de la Cruz

photo by Aaron de la Cruz

Palm Springs, CA

This is the finished Aaron de la Cruz mural he’s been creating at the Commune wall. It’s part of our Desert Gold kickoff. Time to hit the waves, sport some shortpants, and dance it out. 

In his interview he was kind enough to let out a signal flare that’s illuminating Desert Gold this year: we’re focusing extra attention on Latino artists, musicians and cultures.

The world is bursting with wonder, and sometimes it’s nice to have a lens to look through. So for now we’ll echo H. Valentine Miller: “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”

photo by Aaron de la Cruz

photo by Aaron de la Cruz


México / Palm Springs 
Festival NRMAL made an epic Desert Gold mixtape. Soundcloud it here. 

México / Palm Springs 

Festival NRMAL made an epic Desert Gold mixtape. Soundcloud it here


Palm Springs, CA
INTERVIEW: AARON DE LA CRUZ
Aaron de la Cruz is currently mid-mural-painting on the Commune wall at Ace Hotel & Swim Club as part of Desert Gold 2014. The San Francisco-based artist’s background is rooted in street art, and the way he shapes and improvises movement in his work gives it wonderfully deep texture and context. Through his use of lines and space he manages to evoke a unique intertextual roadmap by connecting the dots between modern linguistic text along with pre-Columbian Mayan art and contemporary life on the west coast. That is, we’re very proud to be working again with him. His mural is almost ready for you to vibe on all year long at Ace Hotel & Swim Club.

Part of your process seems to involve being in the moment when you are painting some of your site-specific work. You’ve spoken in interviews about letting your feelings, thoughts and the environment around you influence where you take your work. What sort of preparations do you make leading up to putting paint to surface? Do you have a color palate?  
It really depends on the project as far as how I’m going to determine the outcome of the piece I’m going to create. For this project, I really wanted to focus on my ethnic background — being of Mexican descent. My source of color palette inspiration was a cup of fruit that you would buy from a vendor on the street in Mexico. After spending the first day here on location, I got to meet some of the staff here. Most of them happen to be Latino (or part-Latino) and I knew I had made the right decision. 
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Does your work have an agenda? Do you have a goal or focus as an artist?
As far as my work having an agenda I would say that I really try to push myself to work within a limited amount of mediums. For now I like to challenge myself to see what I can do with that. Having a goal and a focus as an artist is a must. I am always trying to find ways to tell a story with my work that has to do with my family or myself. The more I become dependent on my works supporting what I do, the more I feel it’s only right to share what I have with an audience who wants to listen. I would like to see my work become more three-dimensional (architectural/industrial design) and even do some earthworks as well. 

What is your process for navigating your own artistic concerns or goals when it comes to doing commissioned pieces? Is having constraints helpful in your work, or a hindrance?
For the most part it’s been really easy to work in commission pieces. I find that while most people I work with are really open and let me do what I want, I do give them a sense of direction that I will be going in. I enjoy some pushback at times as it causes me to work in an uncomfortable setting that I have to make right. I have worked with Ace Hotel before on a print we did along with Arkitip, and the response was great, so making this mural project happen wasn’t difficult at all. 

Lots of people will be walking by your mural over the next year, taking photos with it, tagging it online. Is there anything you’d like to have these people take away from the mural — something connective, or a feeling? 
I want the working staff of Ace Hotel & Swim Club to know that this is their mural and it’s influenced by the culture of their community that they have created. The designs I’ve chosen for this mural were influenced by the style of architecture here, and I wanted the designs to have a sense of calm, since my color palette was so loud. As for people taking pictures and capturing a feeling, I guess I will let nature takes its course and see what happens! 

Palm Springs, CA

INTERVIEW: AARON DE LA CRUZ

Aaron de la Cruz is currently mid-mural-painting on the Commune wall at Ace Hotel & Swim Club as part of Desert Gold 2014. The San Francisco-based artist’s background is rooted in street art, and the way he shapes and improvises movement in his work gives it wonderfully deep texture and context. Through his use of lines and space he manages to evoke a unique intertextual roadmap by connecting the dots between modern linguistic text along with pre-Columbian Mayan art and contemporary life on the west coast. That is, we’re very proud to be working again with him. His mural is almost ready for you to vibe on all year long at Ace Hotel & Swim Club.

Part of your process seems to involve being in the moment when you are painting some of your site-specific work. You’ve spoken in interviews about letting your feelings, thoughts and the environment around you influence where you take your work. What sort of preparations do you make leading up to putting paint to surface? Do you have a color palate?  

It really depends on the project as far as how I’m going to determine the outcome of the piece I’m going to create. For this project, I really wanted to focus on my ethnic background — being of Mexican descent. My source of color palette inspiration was a cup of fruit that you would buy from a vendor on the street in Mexico. After spending the first day here on location, I got to meet some of the staff here. Most of them happen to be Latino (or part-Latino) and I knew I had made the right decision. 

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Desert Gold, Ace Hotel & Swim ClubApril 10-21, 2014
The American Southwest has been home to people with grit for thousands of years. Every spring when it starts to heat up in the in the Coachella Valley the desert’s energy calls out to us. Otherworldly landforms that stage sunsets we can’t forget — it’s time to see more of them. So we’re going out to commune with the shaman wielding guitars and drums and keyboards and even laptops around the Big Show. This is year number six that we’re throwing a weekend/week/weekend party layer cake at the Swim Club and it’s called Desert Gold. We’re focusing extra energy this year on some of the incredible work that so many latin artists are producing. Festival NRMAL is curating things in the Swim Club and Amigo Room both weekends, and Remezcla, and The Do-Over are throwing all types of parties, with the help of Marc By Marc Jacobs Eyewear, tumblr and MailChimp. The sun will be hot, but the rooms are icy cold. We’ll sweat it out next to the deep, deep pool and we’ll all be so alive together. We’ll be alive waving gritty with joy. 

Desert Gold, Ace Hotel & Swim Club
April 10-21, 2014

The American Southwest has been home to people with grit for thousands of years. Every spring when it starts to heat up in the in the Coachella Valley the desert’s energy calls out to us. Otherworldly landforms that stage sunsets we can’t forget — it’s time to see more of them. So we’re going out to commune with the shaman wielding guitars and drums and keyboards and even laptops around the Big Show. This is year number six that we’re throwing a weekend/week/weekend party layer cake at the Swim Club and it’s called Desert Gold. We’re focusing extra energy this year on some of the incredible work that so many latin artists are producing. Festival NRMAL is curating things in the Swim Club and Amigo Room both weekends, and Remezcla, and The Do-Over are throwing all types of parties, with the help of Marc By Marc Jacobs Eyeweartumblr and MailChimp. The sun will be hot, but the rooms are icy cold. We’ll sweat it out next to the deep, deep pool and we’ll all be so alive together. We’ll be alive waving gritty with joy. 


Everyday sunshine at Desert Gold.


NPR Music is making their first venture out to the Western desert in their five years of existence, and making Ace Palm Springs their homebase during Coachella and Desert Gold. They’re doing field recordings in the area and capturing impromptu poolside recordings with artists staying with us during Desert Gold, and shooting some video. Tonight, they host karaoke in the Amigo Room with guests like Third Man Records, Warp Records, Modular, We Are Free and Stereogum, and we hope to see you on the mic as well. See the full Desert Gold schedule and get a room.

NPR Music is making their first venture out to the Western desert in their five years of existence, and making Ace Palm Springs their homebase during Coachella and Desert Gold. They’re doing field recordings in the area and capturing impromptu poolside recordings with artists staying with us during Desert Gold, and shooting some video. Tonight, they host karaoke in the Amigo Room with guests like Third Man Records, Warp Records, Modular, We Are Free and Stereogum, and we hope to see you on the mic as well. See the full Desert Gold schedule and get a room.


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