Sand vs. man—or men in gold lame unitards! Ten artists faced off yesterday for Creative Time's annual Artist Sandcastle Competition in Far Rockaway.
Photograph Scott Lynch was on the scene for us and reports:
Held at Beach 86, right in front of Rippers, the crowd was the perfect size: enough folks to give it an air of festive excitement, not too many so you couldn't comfortably wander the "aisles". The cloudy day (though the rain held off all afternoon!) helped keep people away, obviously, as did the fact that, summer Fridays or no, it was still a weekday afternoon. The crowd was a mix of locals, art fans, friends and families, as well as plenty of beach-goers who just stumbled across the competition, including what I believe was a Mormon teen church group. As you can imagine, there was lots of banter and laughter as the teams worked for three hours on their designs, with MC Nato Thompson walking around with a megaphone, and the judges, which included MoMA PS1 director Klaus Biesenbach and last year's winners Paul Outlaw and Jen Catron, cracking wise as well.
After a group picture, the winners were announced:
* The Bronze Shovel went to Duke Riley for his insanely detailed White Castle, which actually sponsored by the burger chain... reps showed up with a crate of 101 burgers to hand out as well as tons of coupons and basket of branded crap—mugs, keychains, god-knows-what-else;
* The Silver Shovel went to Esperanza Mayobre for her old-school, technically tricky raft (check out the "ropes" made from sand);
* The Gold Shovel went to Jamie Isenstein, for her ephemerality trio: a pile of ice, a pile of bubbles, and Internet meme "sexy sax guy", all set atop pillars of sand. Isenstein was a bit of a dark horse, but the winner nonetheless. In addition to the shovel and bottle of booze, she also received a $500 check.
Isenstein told the NY Times, "I think a lot about ephemerality. I do like the challenge of thinking about how to make a sculpture really fast and also I like the challenge of using a medium that I don’t normally use.” She added, "I go to the beach regularly but I never make sand castles. But now I think I will, because it turns out to be really fun."