There are empty walls in La Jolla and the La Jolla Community Foundation is putting art on some of them. I did a post on the first two murals a while back, Kim MacConnel’s and Roy McMakin’s. This third one in the series is by Anya Gallaccio who currently is on the Visual Arts faculty at UCSD. She has international status in the art world, was short listed for the Turner Prize 2003, and was part of the 1980’s British art scene. Some of her early works self-destructed: a chocolate room, a melting ice block, rotting fruit. Fortunately, this mural is on the wall for a least a year.
This mural is called “Surf’s up” and if that is all you know, you can see a tiny boat gliding down some white water. It is, after all, a couple of stone throws away from the Pacific and next to a Rubio’s on Fay Street.
But this is actually an image of a sand grain as seen by an electron microscope which is why it is not obviously anything when you first look at it. I’ve looked at medical scanning electron microscope images of hair cells in the cochlea–actually my brother made a collage of some. And other artists see art in such scans, David Scharf, for example. The weird patterns are jumping off places for all sorts of imagination excursions.
Which is why that little crystal or whatever it is looks like a boat if someone calls the scanning electron microscope image Surf’s up. Other parts of the mural will take you into other places, depending on your brain and its ability to associate.
I like this mural. It gives the viewer possibilities.