The New Yorker:

In a new book, “The Work of Art,” Adam Moss, the former editor-in-chief of New York magazine, draws out artists on what makes them make art.

By Michael Schulman

“I’ve never been a lie-around-on-the-beach kind of guy,” Ian Adelman said recently. As a boy in Maine, he and his father would make drip castles in the sand. “As I got older, and beach trips became more about people lying around—that was not me,” he recalled. His sandcastle habit grew. During the pandemic summer of 2020, as he and his family isolated at their beach house, in Water Mill, New York, it turned into a near-daily ritual. He bought masonry trowels and built Frank Gehry-esque towers of slopes and swirls and terraced pathways, documenting the results on Instagram. “I had some pieces that were the size of a couple of adults,” he said.

It was late morning, and Adelman was crouched in the sand at the Gansevoort Peninsula, a new man-made beach jutting out from the West Side Highway, across from the Whitney Museum. He’d been at work for more than an hour: cleaning sand of junk (sticks, a hair tie), mixing it with Hudson River water in a bucket, and piling it into a navel-high mound. Now it was time to start cutting away. The overcast sky was good for castle-building—too much sun dries out the sand—but Adelman was trying to be discreet. “I had a little run-in with Parks Enforcement,” he said.

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