Music, Art and Comedy @ KAABOO Del Mar + Interview with Lucien Shapiro

KAABOO Del Mar is a live music and entertainment experience happening September 15-17, 2017 in San Diego, CA. KAABOO is shifting the festival paradigm and has carved out its name among national and destination music festivals by offering curated music, contemporary art, gourmet cuisine, and hilarious comedy. Conveniently located at the Del Mar Racetrack and celebrated as San Diego’s largest multi-day major music and entertainment festival, KAABOO Del Mar overlooks the Pacific Ocean and enjoys pristine weather and numerous lodging options. KAABOO’s music line-up includes nearly 100 acts… with performances by Red Hot Chili Peppers, P!nk, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Muse.

Passes are on sale at www.kaaboodelmar.com

KAABOO Del Mar, 1010, Photo by Derek Hackett KAABOO Del MarKAABOO Del Mar, Photo by Scott Dudelson/WireImage for KAABOO Del Mar via imageSPACE

A general view of atmosphere during KAABOO Del Mar 2016 in California.

At KAABOO Del Mar, art is an elemental part of the experience. Globally recognized contemporary visual artists will showcase their work throughout the festival, where guests can expect to engage with live mural painting, sensational art installations, and inspiring exhibitions, touching on nearly every artistic discipline. Many of the works are created live, on-site during the event, allowing attendees to witness art in the making. Nearly 100 art installations by national and global artists are in place upon arrival, making KAABOO one of Southern California’s largest contemporary art fairs.

KAABOO Del Mar, Photo by Scott Dudelson/WireImage for Kaaboo Del Mar via imageSPACE

KAABOO Del Mar, Vans the Omega Pyramid, Photo by Yoshi Yanagita

KAABOO Del Mar, Aaron Li Hill artwork, Photo by Derek Hackett

We are excited for Lucien Shapiro, Kathryn Morin, and Melanie Alves to be joining the visual art line-up this year. Melanie Alves is a visual artist living in San Francisco. Her most recent work, Urban Jungle, is centred on social and cultural issues like gun violence and fear. In it, she deals with society’s loss of its core values “by focusing on power, greed, the individual, and deception”. She works across mediums, most recently with exquisite toy gun sculptures inspired by taxidermy and effortless, shimmering paintings reminiscent of gritty urban graffiti and street art.

Melanie Alves Love Hurts Melanie Alves

Melanie Alves melanie Alves

Kathryn Morin, an artist based in Anchorage, Alaska, specialises in watercolour and ink paintings. Her delicate moments are inspired by the themes of her life, her hopes, dreams, and fears. “I will be presenting a variety of detailed watercolour and ink paintings that contain themes regarding relationships, whether with ourselves or others, and comment on our choices of direction in life. The artwork I present at KAABOO will feature connections between humans and nature, and carry a strong theme of feminine strength in each painting,” she explains.

Kathryn Morin Kathryn Morin Kathryn Morin Kathryn Morin

Lucien Shapiro, a self-described Urban Obsessor, has a visual feast in store for KAABOO Del Mar. He recently embarked on the Fear Collecting Rituals tour in which he travels the country and gives local audiences “an interactive opportunity to discover that the light we seek simply exists within ourselves”. The show includes a film screening and ritual that asks the audience to acknowledge we all have fears.

Lucien Shapiro

Lucien Shapiro


I caught up with Lucien to find out about his installation and what KAABOO festival goers can expect at this feast for the senses.

Tell us briefly about your installation at KAABOO. How did you come to this concept and what can visitors expect? 

There will be an ongoing crowd participatory performance within the installation 3-4 times a day. This is the largest installation and performance I have designed so far. It is called The Giving Tree of Dreams, It consists of a structure made from a collection of different materials and the inside is completely lined with my childhood baseball card collection. I don’t want to give too much away but everyday visitors will have a chance to enter and write down a wish on a small tree ring, in exchange for their wish or dream I will offer them a token to help manifest this coming true.

I have created two masks and other objects for the performance, including ongoing sound made from the tools I exhibit, and there will be a live drummer as well. It’s loosely based on merging the Field of Dreams movie you know (starring Kevin Costner) and The Giving Tree (Shel Silverstein). My last big project dealt with fear, and this time I’m taking the other end of the spectrum. In all my performances I want to show people how strong they are, and what you can manifest by believing in the power inside yourself, I am not offering an answer just pointing people in the internal direction of self and in trusting the universe.

Lucien Shapiro Lucien ShapiroLucien Shapiro

How did you become involved with KAABOO and what do you enjoy most about the event? Why are projects like KAABOO important for artists like you?

I have been a long-time colleague and friend of Amanda Lynn who is the mastermind artist and curator behind the Art at KAABOO. She asked me to submit a proposal and luckily they all agreed it would be a good addition. Nothing like this has been done at KAABOO, so I am excited to open the doors for more possibilities from other performance artists in future events.

I really enjoy the chance to show my work to such a large live audience, usually these types of events add many challenges to my process, which, believe it or not, I cherish. A project like KAABOO introduces participating artists to each other and the viewers that may not have known about us.

Lucien Shapiro

We’re so intrigued by your designs, they truly are otherworldly. Where do you find inspiration for your various pieces, and what about the art you create satisfies you?

My inspiration stems from within, constantly spewing and spouting. I rarely am lacking in ideas and progression. For that, I am truly grateful. That being said, I’m not saying they are all good ideas! Also my surroundings which as of lately change often as I have been traveling for over 2.5 years with projects, residencies, etc.

The most satisfying experiences are during performances, which is why I prefer to include them in the gallery openings. It is a stronger connection to the viewer for me, I feel like the participants are able to be part of the show, the event becomes less about me and my creation and more about working with individuals in hopes of showing them how strong and powerful they are. The performances take the attention off me, and I think it’s one of the only ways I’ve found to remove some of the ego that comes along with being an artist.

Lucien Shapiro

Where do you see the arts headed in the next 5-10 years as technology plays a larger role in visual and interactive performance art?

I’m still blown away by this virtual reality thing. Personally, I am not so excited about advancement in technology – robots scare me. I stand by handmade art and all the imperfections that come with it. I like rust, bumps, cuts, and detritus. Call me old fashioned, I guess. Haha! That being said, I am excited about my work and possibly collaborating with projection mapping with a stage performance. I really have no idea how it will change in 10 years. I still have my beeper from high school – I don’t use it though.

Lucien Shapiro Lucien Shapiro

Anything our readers should know in the lead up to KAABOO?

I hope to see and meet some of the readers out at KAABOO, and if you can’t make it there due to the location, I have some performances coming up in Philadelphia (September 23) at the Laurel Hill Cemetery with Atlas Obscura, and in Detroit with The House of Art on September 22. I am in NYC at Greenwood Cemetery with Atlas Obscura (October 13-14), I have a solo show in San Francisco with Hashimoto Contemporary (November 4), and a final show with the current residency I am in right now at The House of Art in Detroit on November 18 with my residency mates Judith Supine, and Julie Schenkelberg.

Lucien Shapiro


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