Durning Miami Art Week, I took some time to get away from the main paths and visited the Juan Antonio Guiardo VR experience that was put together by cutting-edge Los Angeles based virtual reality studio FLOAT.
FLOAT is a collaborative entity focusing on the intersection of art and interactivity. Founders Ben Vance and Kate Parsons work together to create evocative, nuanced art experiences with producer, author, and curator Daniel Lisi.
"No longer bound by the frame, Guirado’s palettes will surround the viewer, spatializing the materiality of rich textures on canvas. Paint strokes hang mid-air as tangible, touchable artifacts. Viewers will be able to pull at the surface of the painting, allowing them to glide through layered, evocative spaces suffused with the otherworldly. Music by Matt Cheadle provides an orchestral soundscape through which grand abstract landscapes and shifting figures, hallmarks of Guirado’s aesthetic, emerge."
The VR experience has you fly through a dreamlike art gallery viewing three of Guirado's works. The ability to look closely at every inch of the paintings puts you into the eye of the artist himself. You then float further and notice what is my favorite piece by Guirado, Kali's Tunnel, an intricate expression of the wonders of life and death. As you fly through this piece you float into a world of paint and magic and must be experienced to understand.
This exhibition has been curated by the artist’s daughter and president of the Guirado Estate, Catalina Guirado-Cheadle,
I interviewed Catalina and got some great insights on the work of her father. I also spent a lot of time in the experience as I tried it 3 times to see the many layers that make up the piece. One of my favorite aspects of the piece is how vibrant and alive the work of Juan Antonio Guirado was in VR. I would even say the paintings had a feel of just being finished and I was looking at them as the paint dried. This piece stood apart from many VR art pieces I have seen due to how alive it is.
A made in Unity 3d project, the textures are based directly from high-resolution photos of Guirado's paintings, and a custom shader was developed for that glossy fresh paint feel.
The VR experience was available for private viewings during the week of Miami Art Basel.
The FLOAT team and the Guirado Estate is looking to bring this VR experience to more events soon.
For updates on the Guirado Estate/Float VR collaboration and art exhibitions please visit www.guiradoestate.com