Ski Art France

SNOW ART – THE ACCIDENTAL ARTIST

SNOW ART – THE ACCIDENTAL ARTIST
PAINT AND CANVAS ARE SO OLD SCHOOL, DON’T SOU THINK? BRITISH ARTIST SIMON BECK MAKES MAGIC WITH SNOW AND FEET.
BY LESLIE WOIT

What began 10 years ago as a bit of fun and exercise in Les Arcs, France, has turned into a riveting feat of art.

Ex-cartographer Simon Beck has been trudging across Europe’s snowfields and frozen lakes making enormous snow drawings—mostly combinations of Koch snowflakes, Mandelbrot sets, Sierpinski triangles and stars.

Beck leaves his mark, not with traditional brush and paint, but with ordinary snowshoes, an orienteering compass for direction, and pace counting for distance measurement. His largest creation to date was the size of 10 soccer fields. His quickest—the size of only six soccer fields—was completed in just 32 hours over a period of four winter days. By the finish of the 2014 ski season, the accidental artist counted more than 140 installations in his portfolio on dozens of snow-covered peaks.

Beck’s work is featured in a television ad for a car company and a coffee table book that’s currently in the works. The part the artist enjoys most? “Shading in the areas of shading,” Beck says, “which is the last part of the process.”

This winter, Beck plans on drawing— or perhaps creatively trudging—upon the vast snow canvases of Scandinavia, plus wherever the invitations take him, including the Southern Hemisphere in winter.

“I just love snow,” says Beck. “I love its texture. I like the sound it makes. I like the look of it.”

And when snow falls on his work, he just starts all over. It’s the images of the work, not the work itself, that stay with us. “They can be printed and displayed in art galleries,” Beck assures us. “It’s the photos that are permanent.”