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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Downtown LA
The gesamtkunstwerk is alive and thriving. LA Chapter’s Exquisite Surfaces x Commune tiles honor the Viennese secession and issue a loving send-up to the Modernists who forever altered Los Angeles in the ‘20s. They function as angle-driven visual consorts rather than adornments, suggesting you follow their broken lines from the restaurant’s floor, across its walls to the ceiling and back down again. Like petroglyphs from a history that’s yet to be written.  

Downtown LA

The gesamtkunstwerk is alive and thriving. LA Chapter’s Exquisite Surfaces x Commune tiles honor the Viennese secession and issue a loving send-up to the Modernists who forever altered Los Angeles in the ‘20s. They function as angle-driven visual consorts rather than adornments, suggesting you follow their broken lines from the restaurant’s floor, across its walls to the ceiling and back down again. Like petroglyphs from a history that’s yet to be written.  


Flashcards and studio shots from Erin Garcia's mural at Ace Palm Springs with JUNK Magazine.





Photos by Chris Stewart and Aaron Farley.

Flashcards and studio shots from Erin Garcia's mural at Ace Palm Springs with JUNK Magazine.

Photos by Chris Stewart and Aaron Farley.


Erin Garcia action shot by Kim Anh — new mural on the Commune wall at Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs. More updates to come.

Erin Garcia action shot by Kim Anh — new mural on the Commune wall at Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs. More updates to come.


Commune Design made these walking sticks for Ace Hotel & Swim Club. Since we opened in Palm Springs a couple of years ago, you’ve been able to just walk away with them for a small expenditure, right out of your hotel room. But we saved a few at the front desk for other wayward wanderers. There are only a few left — next time you’re here, mosey by and pick one up. Then blow this taco stand and disappear into the San Jacintos.


We had a retro Valentine’s dance at Ace Hotel & Swim Club on February 13th at Ace Hotel Palm Springs. Doo Wop in the Desert was a collaboration with The Coachella Valley Art Scene, a local hub for art, music, and events in the valley. They also provide hair and fashion advice to retro style enthusiasts. Over 250 people attended in their finest vintage to dance, take photos in the customized photobooth, and eat frosted cupcakes from The Kid’s Business. DJ Alf Alpha kept everyone on their feet between two live sets by Evaro, a local band from Joshua Tree, with separate 50s and 70s themed outfits for each set. They were amazing and we’ll definitely be bringing them back to Ace. See our original invitation, and look at more shots from the party.

And if you had your photo taken at the party, email it to us. We might put it up on our blog.

Photos by Anthony J. DeMeglio


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