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Beached Art

What do star-crossed lovers (thanks, Shakespeare), a black fly in your chardonnay (merci, Alanis) and Santa Cruz artist Jim Denevan's elaborate sand drawings have in common? They're all prime examples of beautiful irony. Denevan's doomed artistry—which can be found, on any fair-weather day, on SF's Ocean Beach or Santa Cruz's Cowell Beach—is front-and-center in this month's Sunset magazine. The geometric precision of Denevan's awe-inspiring patterns nods to the handiwork of aliens (as seen in some of England's notable crop circles) and the great Dutch optical illusionist, M.C. Escher. So, if you want to view one of these fleeting tableaus, it's probably high time you get to the beach before high tide. Just cross your fingers that Denevan is on the same, er, wavelength.