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'Rain Machine,' Andy Warhol's O.G. version of 'Rain Room,' is on display for the first time in 45 years

Written by
Brittany Martin

Decades before the "Rain Room" you’ve probably heard of came to be, Andy Warhol had a similar idea. His "Rain Machine (Daisy Waterfall)" was an elaborate installation of 3D panels, mirrors and spraying water. The piece made its U.S. debut at LACMA in 1971—and now, 45 years later, it’s on public display in L.A. again. 

The king of Pop Art actually made four different versions of "Rain Machine." The first two, including the one which was shown for six months at LACMA, were destroyed in the process of being exhibited. Back then, they hadn’t quite figured out how to keep the constant spray of water from ruining the rest of the installation.  

Luckily, we now have a high-tech solution to that problem. For this showing at Young Projects in the Pacific Design Center, the owners of "Rain Machine" brought in local contemporary artist Refik Anadol to update the original machine to use digital "rain" made of light rather than the actual wet stuff, as the L.A. Times reports

Other than swapping the water for digital projections, the rest of the installation is pretty much just how it would have been to walk through it back in Warhol’s day. You’ll walk through rooms of rain (plural rooms, take that "Rain Room"), through mirrored hallways, and take in a ghostly glow of light at the end.

Comparing it to that other "Rain Room," Anadol told the Times, "It’s more interesting, personally to me, using light as a material. It’s more magical and probably more the sense of what they were trying to do in the '70s."

Decide for yourself with a visit to the gallery before February; it might even make you forget the pain of still not having scored "Rain Room" tickets (or not having seen any real rain in months and months).

"Rain Machine (Daisy Waterfall)" is on display at Young Projects Gallery at the Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Avenue, Suite B230. The installation is open 11am to 5pm Tuesday through Friday until February 17, 2017. Admission is free.


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