Thursday, January 13, 2011

Free Form Sand Sculpture

The sun came out today, as it always does eventually. The ocean and the sky were both so blindingly blue at the beach this morning, you just had to stop and soak it up for a minute. Coming off the beach, we saw a guy hard at work with a bunch of stuff, making a sand sculpture. I had to go ask about his deal.

Larry has been making sand sculptures for years, and made most of his tools himself. I asked what his current piece was going to be and he said, "A free form sand sculpture". Well, alright!

I asked how he goes about picking a spot, and he said, "I've tried sand from Palos Verdes to Malibu, and the very best sand is right here" (The Breakwater). Another cool thing about Venice, excellent. I was being pretty inquisitive, and Larry asked if I was from New York. I had never in my life been asked that before ... interesting.

I said he was kind of like a mandala maker, where you make something so so beautiful out of sand, and then it just blows away. PURE art, where the delight is in the making of it, which was clear by Larry's serene face. Like playing a song for yourself, alone in a room. Like landing a tough skateboard trick when no one is watching (or taping). Like writing poems that you'll never show anyone. It is for you, and your own expression.

Larry looked like he was gonna be there a while, and I didn't have all day, so I don't yet know what the finished product looked like, but it's almost beside the point. The point IS - find moments to do what you love, what makes you most happy, and do it for the purity of just doing it, not what might come of it. That is when you'll be most alive.

*Jenny Everhart took these sandy photos!


I was thinking about this the rest of the day, so at sunset I cruised down to the beach to see what became of the Free Form Sand Sculpture. Ok, Dude is genius.

I wish I had thought to zoom in for more detail, as the delicate ripples in the sand were really breathtaking. So was the sunset ... and the way the admiring people were taking pictures (and leaving it alone) as they recognized its beauty. They kept a respectful distance from the piece like in a real art gallery,

But way, way better.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this literate and generous write-up, CJ. It isn't all that often someone really "gets" sand sculpture as I practice it.

    The New York question came from someone who was thinking more about the sculpture than anything else, and I saw something about New York on your T-shirt. Early January there are lots of people here from the east so I took a somewhat flippant guess, and missed. Now I know.