Laguna Beach Artist Jorg Dubin moves outdoors for a site-specific land sculpture

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Wind up the twisty road to The Ranch at Laguna Beach, pull into the main parking lot by the driving range, then get out and walk toward the patio. Perfectly framed by the valet portico is Jorg Dubin’s “Aliso,” a modest, almost subliminal, environmental sculpture. It’s a mound of earth, planted with dymondia, a curved walkway slicing it through the middle. It’s the kind of piece you might just stroll by, but stay a minute and look at the details: the variant colors of the plants, the rust grain on the steel plates supporting each side, all cut into strata patterns that are intended to look like Aliso Canyon but also bringing to mind a bulldozed, developed mountain-scape. That’s my take, but journeyman artist Dubin, best known for his hard-edged figurative painting and mentorship of young artists at Laguna College of Art and Design, is open to varying interpretations. “I think it’s interesting, all of the ways to view the content. I may have a specific idea of what I’m saying, but I like that I haven’t so overly defined it. Overtly stating your intent as an artist is a fail because you’re not allowing people to be a part of it, not allowing them to be a participant.”

“Aliso” (2016), coreten steel and mounded earth, 17 by 15 by 3 feet. At left, “Self-Portrait after Beckmann” (2011). See more of Dubin’s work and contact him at jorgdubin.com.

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