John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.
The sandy masterpiece was made by an artist who does huge, intricate earthworks.
What would a Midwest crop circle look like if transported to San Francisco? Groovy and mystic, it appears, and centered not in a corn field but on the wind-scoured shores of the Pacific.
This Sunday, folks out for a jaunt on the northern edge of Ocean Beach likely stumbled upon a giant, flowery symbol scratched in the sand. Though the Bay Area has a history of alien sightings, the culprit here was a denizen of our solar system: Andres Amador, a San Francisco artist known for creating expansive, intricate earthworks. Amador started working the beach with a rake at noon, and in a few hours had gifted it patterns reminiscent of a 1960s psych-rock album cover or an actually not-terrible tramp stamp.
Amador kicked off his beach-drawing career a decade ago while studying "geometry, ancient architecture" and (yes indeed) "crop circles." He's executed hundreds of sandy masterpieces in several countries, some covering as much as 100,000 square feet. His ultimate goal, he writes, is to "bring a sense of wonder and immediacy to the viewer."
And he did just that for this latest piece, magnetizing a large crowd gathered up on the beach cliffs. The artwork is likely gone by now, a victim of the tides, but here's evidence of its brief, splendid existence:
Incredible sand art from Andres Amador at San Francisco's Ocean Beach. https://t.co/6CeOPOtzcp— Onpublico (@onpublico) February 15, 2015
Andres Amador // Ocean Beach pic.twitter.com/2tjLb4joF3— lindsay jean thomson (@lindsayjeanthom) February 16, 2015
This great time lapse from the same location in 2014 gives a window into Amador's process: