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Art Review: Roden showcases rainbow in new way

Carly Hill
Arts Editor

Artist Steve Roden recently installed an innovative creation at the Pomona College Museum of Art in Claremont.

Roden is a Los Angeles based artist that works in a mixture of mediums, including drawing, painting, sculpting, performance and sound installation.

Roden created the installation “bowrain” specifically for the Pomona College Museum of Art.

The sculpture is created with wood, wire and twine, and resembles a black widow’s spider web from afar, entwined and rather haphazard.

However, a closer look at the work reveals the intricate colored twine that is strung between the wooden bars, adding another facet to the creation.

It is then that the work does not seem so randomly put together.

Rather, the wood appears to be placed perfectly, casting beautiful shadows on the walls behind.

Viewers can stand inside the wooden masterpiece and observe Roden’s work from a different perspective.

To enhance the sculpture, Roden also incorporated six audio speakers, three compact disc players, ink on 16 mm film transferred to video footage, three DVD players and three video projectors.

The music is different than anything I have heard before.

The sounds heard are created by using six ceramic bowls to create and add a unique tone and texture to the whole performance.

The piece as a whole is supposed to remind you of a rainbow, hence the title “bowrain.”

The colors of the piece, the rain-like sounds and the projections on the wall give the feeling that you have been caught in a rogue rain storm in a parallel universe, and Roden’s “bowrain” is the result.

To add another facet to his art, Roden provides a publication with his work, which he worked on with Michael Ned Holte, an art writer and installation creator.

Holte’s words are extremely detailed and use words that evoke the exact feeling of Roden’s inspiration.

Roden is a Southern California native who has been showing his artistic creations for 20 years around the world, including installations in Berlin and Athens.

He also taught at various institutions, including Claremont Graduate School.

The installation will be open to viewers until Dec. 19.

Carly Hill can be reached at

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