Palm Springs, CA 
Desert Gold 2014.
Photo by Roby Jeffers

Palm Springs, CA 

Desert Gold 2014.

Photo by Roby Jeffers


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


Desert Gold 2014, Palm Springs


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. 


Journey into the alchemical mind of Mark Mothersbaugh — cofounder of Devo, pioneer of flagrant weirdness, maker of children’s music and collector of superannuated musical fire hazards — with the latest installation of Thinking Cap. As our artist-in-residence for Desert Gold 2012 at Ace Hotel & Swim Club, Mr. Mothersbaugh put on a few shows we invited him to do, and a handful of ones we didn’t.
Thinking Cap is a new evolving series by Atelier Ace making inquires into the creative processes of experimental artists, musicians and personalities. Artists all have their rituals for getting into the heat of their energy. Hemingway would stop working when he had a good idea to save some motivation. Gertrude Stein would only work for 30 minutes each day. Mark Mothersbaugh gets up at 3am to draw every morning. Some people need a certain room or a certain outfit or need to get naked. The Thinking Cap, outfitted with a POV camera, captures that process with all the shakes, swoops and cries of victory in real time.
Next up, Sword + Fern. See more posts on our blog, and share something about your creative process with us with #athinkingcap and @acehotel on any social platform. We’ll keep an eye out and send treats to the creators who catch our eye.

Journey into the alchemical mind of Mark Mothersbaugh — cofounder of Devo, pioneer of flagrant weirdness, maker of children’s music and collector of superannuated musical fire hazards — with the latest installation of Thinking Cap. As our artist-in-residence for Desert Gold 2012 at Ace Hotel & Swim Club, Mr. Mothersbaugh put on a few shows we invited him to do, and a handful of ones we didn’t.

Thinking Cap is a new evolving series by Atelier Ace making inquires into the creative processes of experimental artists, musicians and personalities. Artists all have their rituals for getting into the heat of their energy. Hemingway would stop working when he had a good idea to save some motivation. Gertrude Stein would only work for 30 minutes each day. Mark Mothersbaugh gets up at 3am to draw every morning. Some people need a certain room or a certain outfit or need to get naked. The Thinking Cap, outfitted with a POV camera, captures that process with all the shakes, swoops and cries of victory in real time.

Next up, Sword + Fern. See more posts on our blog, and share something about your creative process with us with #athinkingcap and @acehotel on any social platform. We’ll keep an eye out and send treats to the creators who catch our eye.


A lot of people think places like Detroit and Memphis are lost — that the radical openness and innocence and obsessiveness that flourished there can’t exist next to the internet, MP3s and — well, and crack. In 1960s Detroit, you could walk from the Brewster-Douglass Projects to Fortune and cut a record after school. Wendy Rene cruised in the door at Stax in 1964 and just sang a song that changed everything. In some ways, the internet and the digitization of music have allowed this same level access, but most of us will agree there’s some soul lost there… Why are real records important in this light? What likeness does holding a 45 bear to holding a real book? Why does it matter to touch and smell and hear something real?
Jack White is a crooner, a picker, an upholsterer, co-founder of Third Man Records and 2013’s Official Record Store Day Ambassador. In honor of the occasion, we’re hosting Third Man in Palm Springs at Ace Hotel & Swim Club during Desert Gold — they’re popping-up in the Clubhouse with the one and only currently functioning record shop in Palm Springs. It matters a lot to us. Third Man is really good at this shit. We can’t explain the ineffable importance of vinyl, of paper and ink, and of real people instead of Twitter handles. But come hang out with us today and we can just not explain it together. Bring your record bag.

A lot of people think places like Detroit and Memphis are lost — that the radical openness and innocence and obsessiveness that flourished there can’t exist next to the internet, MP3s and — well, and crack. In 1960s Detroit, you could walk from the Brewster-Douglass Projects to Fortune and cut a record after school. Wendy Rene cruised in the door at Stax in 1964 and just sang a song that changed everything. In some ways, the internet and the digitization of music have allowed this same level access, but most of us will agree there’s some soul lost there… Why are real records important in this light? What likeness does holding a 45 bear to holding a real book? Why does it matter to touch and smell and hear something real?

Jack White is a crooner, a picker, an upholsterer, co-founder of Third Man Records and 2013’s Official Record Store Day Ambassador. In honor of the occasion, we’re hosting Third Man in Palm Springs at Ace Hotel & Swim Club during Desert Gold — they’re popping-up in the Clubhouse with the one and only currently functioning record shop in Palm Springs. It matters a lot to us. Third Man is really good at this shit. We can’t explain the ineffable importance of vinyl, of paper and ink, and of real people instead of Twitter handles. But come hang out with us today and we can just not explain it together. Bring your record bag.


Everyday sunshine at Desert Gold.


William Bensussen aka The Gaslamp Killer, a hyperactive, hypersonic, LA-based channeler for all the right musical vibes, plays April 19 at Desert Gold with Warp Records in the Amigo Room at Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs — here, he represents for all the deep musical woo we love and believe in, as part of the Serato Icon Artist Series.


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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