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Jim Denevan, "Surfers in Circles," sand art, Tunitas Creek Beach, CA, USA, 2006.

Jim Denevan

Surfer, chef and renowned beach sand artist, Jim Denevan brings an appreciation for the outdoors and the ephemeral passage of time to his large-scale beach drawings. Using a simple driftwood stick found on-site, Denevan begins by tracing outward from a central point on the beach. Improvised on the spot and gracefully rendered with his stick and a selection of rakes, his large scale spirals, circles and geometric forms which take up most of the beach.

"When I'm doing a drawing, I'm personifying the place that is empty. A place that is unmarked." These ephemeral sand drawings are performances. They emerge like a dance and become interactive public spaces when he's done. Surfers walk over and through the elegant patterns he leaves behind. Delighted beachgoers follow the curling spiral work like it's a labyrinth, pacing inwards and then retracing their steps. The incoming tide participates as well, and always has the last word as it erases the temporary artworks with the sweep of each passing wave.

"People always ask how it feels to have them wash away," adds Denevan, "but who would want it not to wash away?"


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