Artist Creates Such Realistic Sand Sculptures That People Mistake Them For Actual Animals

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(TMU) – Artists can create amazing art using just about any medium, from ordinary everyday items to a myriad of discarded junk and waste materials. Artist Andoni Bastarrika discovered his medium to be the sand at the beach. While most of the millions of annual beach goers have tried their hand at building a sandcastle or two using plastic spades and buckets at some time in their lives, Bastarrika’s creations are on another level altogether. Using mostly his bare hands, a few basic tools, materials, and sand, he sculpts creatures from the ocean and land who seem to have just washed out on the shore.

 

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Bastarrika’s created his first sand sculpture while at the beach in 2010 with his daughters and he made a little mermaid for them. That was when his artistic journey started and he discovered his gift while working on the mermaid, the ‘fluidity’ of his hands, working with the sand. “They knew what they were doing,” he told a social media outlet. “I devoted myself to developing this gift and have spent the last 10 years doing just that.’’

 

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Bastarrika elaborated on the Facebook page: “The sand fascinates me because no matter how you look at it, it will always teach you things if you are willing to learn. In order to create a sculpture, an unthinkable number of sand particles participate, hugging each other tightly through humidity, so that someone could model their union. And once the artist steps back, its piece will remain at the mercy of nature, meaning that sooner or later the wind will dry them up and release each particle, slowly consuming all the individuality and authenticity.”

 

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For Bastarrika, one of the main reasons he loves the sand, and he has many, is how the tiny particles stick together, forming a union. He believes that humans should behave like the damp sand, saying, “To create a beautiful world, we should all embrace each other just as tightly.”

“There are a lot of reasons why I like to make animal sculptures as well, but one is the fact that animals are free spirits,” he explained, adding that humans can learn a lot from the wisdom of animals, they are born naked and stay that way until they die, whereas humans cover up and ‘overdress’. Their nudity is a symbol of freedom to Bastarrika and he aims to never create animals with necklaces or chains, saying ‘’I prefer to embrace their freedom, power, and wisdom through beauty rather than a form of suffering.”

 

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To create his sculptures, Bastarrika shapes piles of moist sand with his hands to find the animal’s movement and expression then he’ll add detail with a sharp stick or feather to highlight the features. Sometimes he’ll add color with ash and coal, clay and stone powders and use pieces of glass and other found items for detail.

A large sculpture like the elephant could take two days to create, the horse and bison about 12 hours each and smaller ones such as the dogs around six to eight hours.

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