land art

Artist Creates Absolutely Epic Geometric Drawings on Beaches Around the World

Jim Denevan wanders from beach to beach carving ephemeral illustrations that can only be appreciated from above.

by Beckett Mufson
Mar 27 2017, 3:45pm

Captures d'écran via Vimeo.

Not simply content to relax by the ocean with a Mai Tai in hand, Santa Cruz-based land artist Jim Denevan has been beautifying beaches with intricate sand carvings for the past 20 years. Often using driftwood found nearby, he creates the most intricate and compelling of a pattern he can before the tide washes away his work like a Tibetan sand mandala

A new video from Great Big Story documents the process behind several carvings on the scale of Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty, but without Jetty's permanence. It's fascinating to see how the works, photos of which have appeared in National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, MoMA PS1, and gallery shows from Laguna Beach to the UAE. Aside from beaches, Denevan has engraved Burning Man's Black Rock Desert in Nevada, and created 10-mile-circumference work in a dried lake bed that, he says, holds the world record for largest art. 

Check out these works and more in the video below.

See more of Jim Denevan's work on his website and check out more from Great Big Story here.

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