Monday, April 15, 2013
The Palm Springs Art Museum, during its monthly 2nd Free Sunday, was offering lectures, a special film program, and even a classical piano recital of student winners from a Steinway competition.
There were two special exhibits: Beg Borrow and Steal which was an assemblage of contemporary "appropriated" art from the Miami Beach power couple Don and Mera Rubell. There's also a Robert Rauschenberg exhibit of prints he made with the Los Angeles art print house, Gemini.
Neither show did much for me, the Rubell exhibit being brashly confrontational in ways that canceled each other out, and the Rauschenberg felt like the work of a mature artist cashing in on his celebrity. The most interesting temporary exhibit was a competition held for local students, complete with scholarship cash prizes.
The ratio of interesting pieces to outright duds was impressive, and in a nod to the reality that the Coachella Valley is half Mexican, all the signage was bilingual. So Shadow Hills High School student Cecelia Villalobos's photo above is entitled Los amigos te respalden, or Friends Have Your Back.
Victor Huante from Cathedral City High School won a prize with the drawing of the Indian Woman above...
...as did the pencil drawing of an accordion by Mt. San Jacinto High School's Angel Figueroa.
There was the occasional pointed social commentary, too, with Thinspiration or Inspiracion de la delgadez by Palm Springs High School's Andrea Abbas Carrasco. There are handwritten words on the measuring tape spelling out "Cow" and "Useless" and "Obese."
Johnny Galvan from the College of the Desert offered the beautiful and shocking bathroom photo above and called it The Smell or El odor.
A favorite piece was a small ceramic by Ruby Gomez and Melissa Miranda entitled Para que encajar cuando naciste para sobresalir? or Why fit in when you were born to stand out? Why, indeed.