Which of us haven’t held a stick to draw on sand at the beach or the river shore? I’m sure almost everyone. But not everyone had a passion to do it on a professional level. Jim Denevan (50 years old) is one of the artists who picked landscape as a canvas for his art. Jim Denevan is an artist who creates large scale sand drawings along the coasts of California, on the Dry Lake Beds of Nevada, even drawing on frozen water surfaces in Siberia. From the ground, these drawn environments are experienced as places.
In the mid of 1990s when his mother developed Alzheimer disease Jim took to the beach attempting to deal with the trauma. His drawings began with a piece of the driftwood found at the beach and it resulted in something much bigger and more extraordinary – pictures of Denevan’s art has been exhibited at PS1, part of New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
In 2008 and 2009 Jim created original drawings on the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. Large scale artwork was done over the period of a month. The drawing is approximately 9 miles in circumference and was composed by driving around in circles while smaller circles were composed with freehand walking and a stick, the lines were then made wider by driving around and around.
In March of 2010, Jim Denevan and his crew created a large scale artwork on the frozen surface of Lake Baikal, Siberia. The spiral of circles, along a fibonacci curve, grow from an origin of 18″ to several miles in diameter.
On the 23rd of June 2010, Jim Denevan created one of the world’s largest free-hand drawings on the beaches of Spanish Banks with the help of 15 Biennale volunteers. Work on the drawing began at 9.00am; the work was photographed from a helicopter at 12.15pm and was washed away by the high tide by 2.00pm.
Drawings of Denevan are completely free-handed and not premeasured exactly as drawing on a piece of paper, which in this case appeared to be a natural canvas of enormous size. Jim Denevan can easily walk 20 miles while creating his art; which, a few hours later, will be erased by the tide. His art is one day art, that is not repeated, only captured on video and in photos. Tomorrow it’s gonna be a new story.