Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Largest Human-Made Art on Earth


Take the huge dry lake bed. Choose a stick. Make the largest sand drawing on Earth.

Next on the list could be - aliens see it, make contact. Well, even without aliens, this art is more than mind-boggling in its scale. It's planet-altering.

Jim Denevan made the world's largest freehand drawing a few weeks ago on a dry lake in Nevada. How big is it? Three mile across, which took 100 miles of walking to draw the pattern:

(click to enlarge all images)

Made by a single person... gone the next week

Jim says: "It is really really big. My first attempt at a place so large. I think it represents about seven or eight days of walking."

This photo is from 13,000 feet above. Jim is a small speck in center...

His bus is also lost in the landscape (Jim's crew is taking a driving tour of the completed drawing) -

An immense mark in nature - it passes, leaving nothing

Even though esthetically it's a welcome addition to the landscape, it is also a sort of a transient mark - like a cloud, or a river-bed. Immense in its scope, and lasting only a moment in the large scale of things.

We asked the artist, how long did this stupendous artwork last?

"Completely erased in a rainstorm the next week... It felt strange to work so hard and not see tide come in. But rains did come which is sort of the same thing."


Preparations and artist's custom bus:

Really groovy-looking bus, too. Jim Denevan uses this bus in his other venture "Outstanding in the Field, where haute cuisine is served in the middle of wild natural environment, such as a country field, a rocky strewn coast, or a mountaintop.

Going Global

We featured some of Jim's work on our site before. The artist says: "My drawings are made totally freehand - large, then shrunk (if photographed)." "At low tide on wide beaches Jim searches the shore for a wave tossed stick. After finding a good stick and composing himself in the near and far environment Jim draws-- laboring up to 7 hours and walking as many as 30 miles. The resulting sand drawing is made entirely freehand with no measuring aids whatsoever."

Many beaches in Oregon and California (and soon the Spanish Bank Beach in Vancouver) have been graced by his immense patterns (somewhat reminiscent of the Nazca lines of Peru, only with that modern art quality).

A whimsical canvas of seemingly infinite ocean coastlines and deserts... subject to tides, weather and a passage of time. See the whole spectacular gallery of his work here.

(all images copyright: Jim Denevan, used by permission)

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Category: Art,Nature

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