The beach. It was once a place where you could bathe in the sun’s soothing rays, be surrounded by nearly naked strangers, and never think twice about having any sort of interaction with them. That was, until artist Misael Soto saw a problem with that. Soto recently took his talents to Miami Beach, laying a 56-by-29-foot towel across the sand in an attempt to encourage beachgoers to take advantage of their closeness and actually, y’know, talk to each other. On Soto’s beach days, locals and tourists alike wander over to the towel, which stays out all day and is generally supplied with beach games and picnic food. He encourages them to sit and enjoy the sun with new friends. Soon the artist will embark on the Giant Towel Road Trip Tour up the East Coast to visit some of the nation’s most popular beaches — but not before one last hoorah where it all began. This Saturday, on the sand at 21st Street, Soto will set up his colossal towel, along with food to share and live music performances. Taking advantage of the closeness is, of course, free.
Sat., July 28, 2012