I was not going to miss the opportunity to witness Doug Aitken's Mirage during its much hyped run of 2017. I have been a admirer of Aitken's art for some time, particularly his pieces that encompass mirrors, nature, and/or cities. After seeing his Still Life exhibition at Regen Projects in 2014 and his first North American survey, Doug Aitken: Electric Earth, at MOCA in 2016, I decided that wherever his art would be, so would I. During a private tour organized by MOCA, I had the opportunity to meet Doug which was a highlight in my art world narrative.
When the Greater Palm Springs Tourism Board invited me to come enjoy Palm Springs Restaurant Week, I made a list of all the sites I wanted to see while eating my way through the desert–Mirage was at the top. This house of mirrors created by Aitken was part of Desert X, an international art exhibition located in Palm Springs, California, now approaching its second year. Curated by artistic director Neville Wakefield, this site specific installation is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in the desert. This life-size kaleidoscope is sans inhabitants or objects, its purpose is to reflect the vast Western landscape of which it is surrounded. Absorbing every element within its view, Mirage's appearance shifts with every step in a different direction. While in the home I lost track of time as I was completely enveloped with every moving reflection, even my own.
When researching the installation I learned that the design was inspired by California Ranch Style homes, particularly those erected by Frank Lloyd Wright in the West. I was excited to learn this structure was a reflection of an architect who's work I continually study; made me love it even more.
Although Mirage is now permanently closed, Desert X is currently gearing up for the second edition of their much-praised exhibition, opening to the public next year. Once again, Desert X will transform the Palm Springs desert landscape through site-specific installations; I am beyond curious to see what artists the team has procured for 2019! This is something not to be missed. On view February 9 - April 21 2019.