SP15 on the Beaches of San Diego
Last Sunday we attended an opening that required bathing suits, sunglasses and a heavy dose of SPF 15 almost exclusively. I suppose we should mention we were on the beach and no not the Venice boardwalk variety of hippie beach side art openings. We were in San Diego, a land few Angelenos dare to drive to in one day. Well we dared and as we rolled up to Windasea Beach side we realized it was the best idea we had that weekend.
The reason we had made the trek to San Diego was for the opening of “10,” Lila de Magalhaes, Cody Tumblin at a gallery appropriately named SPF 15. The gallery is both a project space and social artwork that inhabits the beaches of San Diego. At its most basic it is a 10×10 pop-up tent with art in and around it and at its most complex it is a meeting ground between land and sea, labor and leisure, and art and experience. The space is conceptualized by USD MFA candidate Morgan Mandalay and this was show 10 of 15.
When we arrived the small crowd was sprawled on blankets; talking, leaning on rocks, sun bathing and drinking massive amounts of LaCroix. Honestly the show might as well have been sponsored by the brand (not complaining). Both artists greeted us and talked to us about their work. Morgan thanked us for driving all the way from LA and pointed out that we made it there in the same amount of time it would have taken us to get from Silver Lake to Santa Monica in rush hour—he had a point. Cody’s hand-died textiles elegantly swayed in the wind around those standing inside the tent. Lila’s small ceramics peppered the sand making us very aware of where we were stepping. An older gentleman in slacks and a baseball cap (a USD professor we were told) lingered with the young crowd and said goodbye to us as if we had talked for hours. Is everyone in San Diego this friendly?
We spent the rest of our time watching children with sand shovels try to figure out what this weird looking tent was all about, observing surfers tackle larger than life waves and waiting for the sun to set on the art.