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Solo Exhibition

From January 01, 2023 to January 31, 2023

Bombay Beach

Bram Coppens

© Bram Coppens, winner of January 2023 Solo Exhibition


Artist Statement

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Bombay Beach is a place in Imperial County, California, USA. The population was 231 at the 2020 census. It is located on the Salton Sea, and is the lowest community in the United States, located 223 feet (68 m) below sea level.

Once a popular getaway for beachgoers until the 1980s, when the draining and increasing salinity of the Salton Sea destroyed the lake's ecosystem and drove businesses and private landowners out of the area, rendering Bombay Beach a ghost town. Despite this, by 2018, a number of people had moved into the area, and the town's many abandoned structures and features from its past have drawn visitors back in. Bombay Beach was "enjoying a rebirth of sorts with an influx of artists, intellectuals and hipsters who have turned it into a bohemian playground." The Bombay Beach Biennale, an annual art festival, is held here.

Living In Los Angeles at that time I knew Salton Sea so it was on my list to visit for years. Hearing that it was turning into some sort of artist micro community triggered me to finally do that road trip and go.

Arriving there and while waiting for the perfect light situation, I was drawn by the atmosphere and the artistic community, but above all drawn by the desolate vibes.

As I wanted to translate this desolate vibe into a visually driven language and capture the authentic look and feel of the moment, I tried to steer away from any obvious new art installation and tried to focus on the dead Salton Sea part, the ghost part of the town.

The series was shot in Bombay Beach California in 2019 on Medium format analogue 6x6 film.


Bombay Beach

Biography

Bram matured as a filmmaker in the commercial world, artfully combining the gritty grain of closely-observed humanity with his own distinctive storytelling sensibility. His technical versatility encompasses vintage analogue film and classic voice-overs as well as the most cutting-edge digital techniques. Combining these tools with his rich years of Hollywood experience, he produces strikingly unique works that have seen him fĂȘted at the Clios, Cannes, and beyond. As a Photographer he also tries to capture these authentic moments.

Portraiture, landscape or a still live - he loves to tell the story in a cinematic way.

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