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IntroductionCalifornia modernism embodied an unmatched optimism that was full of hope for the future. It was an era of groundbreaking ideas and new forms. Guachinarte returns to the modern playing field by arranging iconic mid-century architecture with irresistible atmospheres. In his work, nature and architecture melt with one another and the boundaries between inner and outer dissolve. The California sun pours through floor-length windows. Swimming pools are framed by agave cacti. The artist’s work incarnates the California dream and the urban summer magic that hallmarks Palm Springs, whilst paying reference to pool moments popularized by Slim Aarons.
These innovative and finely detailed architectural-natural scenes are created by Guachinarte by with cutting edge technologies. The work requires a meticulous and laborious process that often involves in-depth research on location and housing floorplans, drafting both analog and digital sketches, and creating interior and garden design concepts. After completing these steps, he considers the sky and the surroundings and experiments with different lighting compositions. His greatest challenge is finding the harmonious balance between these elements that will ultimately emanate what it means to live and be in California.
One of Guachinarte’s biggest inspirations is the legendary architectural photographer, Julius Shulman. No one captured the California lifestyle of the 60s and 70s like Shulman. He worked with all the greatest and most celebrated architects that developed the signature style we now associate with Palm Springs. The architects chose Shulman to photograph their work, because his photos captured the spirit of the homes they constructed. His photos portrayed not only the structures, but the ideals that they were built upon. Together, they created a new way of living for a new society.
Mid-century modern architecture owes much of its innovations to the Bauhaus, which was an art school that developed a style in the early 20th century that would change architecture and design forever. The most basic tenet of the Bauhaus design concept is that form follows function. Like the Bauhaus, mid-century modern architecture is characterized by linear forms. However, the Californian architecture distinguishes itself by combining linear with organic forms. This unique style remains among the architectural highlights of California today.
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