• Beach, 30_x22_, acrylic and mixed media, 2018.jpg
Fan - 5 Expert - 8

I spent several summers in the south of France. This is an abstracted version of the beach on the Mediterranean Sea where I swam daily. I was intrigued by how the beachgoers' clothing, umbrellas intersected with the natural environment.

Responses (1)

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John Crowther
John Crowther Critic

February 25, 2022

Gina Werfel’s Beach takes an abstract approach to capture the colorful chaos, excitement, and consuming sensory nature of the beach. While the sonic experience differs, an empty beach is no louder than a crowded one, but the colors of a crowded beach are definitively louder than their uninhabited counterparts. I love the unspoiled solitude of an empty beach, but in many ways, I find it less engaging and relaxing than a crowded one (not too crowded, of course). The camaraderie of other beachgoers, their colorful bathing suits and umbrellas offsetting the beige sand and blue waters, the moments of music, bits of conversation, and otherwise disguised skin provoke a sensory intensity that few places can match. They seem to move a lot for such relaxed people. The din of the ocean, combined with the competing strands of music and conversation, and lack of aesthetic inhibitions, seems quite pronounced for a place renowned for peace and escape. Herein lies the power of the populated beach: it’s not peaceful; it’s enlivening. Simultaneously it brings us closer to nature and each other (so much so that even bashful people feel comfortable being next-to-naked around strangers). We take comfort in its liveliness and the liveliness it inspires in those colorful, loud, beautiful, liberated, and occasionally annoying strangers surrounding us. We interpret this feeling as calm, but it is unbridled joy in being alive. But, as odd as it sounds, maybe excitement is calm (or at least it is on the beach).

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Gina Werfel
Work on Paper - Unframed
22.00 inches wide
30.00 inches tall
0.10 inches deep
0.10 lbs
Davis, CA, US