From horses to bulls, Andoni Bastarrika creates incredibly realistic animals that are hard to distinguish from the real ones.
If you're looking for inspiration to try a new hobby during the lockdown, then maybe Andoni Bastarrika can inspire you. While most artists use paper (or now a screen) as their creative medium, Bastarrika uses sand. From horses to bulls to dogs, he creates incredibly realistic animals that are hard to distinguish from the real ones! He tells Bored Panda that he started his muddy artistic journey in 2010. The first sculpture he made was actually a little mermaid. The gift that he describes is the 'fluidity' of his hands. "They knew what they were doing," Bastarrika said. "I devoted myself to developing this gift and have spent the last 10 years doing just that."
But why sand? He loves how the particles need each other to create something. And this he feels reflects humanity. "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," Bastarrika added that animals are bearers of great wisdom as well. "Humans can reflect and learn from them." So, how does he do it?
The artist piles up slightly wet sand and starts shaping it, trying to find its expression, the movement that will bring it to life. Once he understands that, he uses a sharpened stick and a feather to deepen that expression and to bring the animals to life. He also sometimes uses other materials like ashes, coal powder, clay powder, stone powder of different colors, glass shards, and others. "The time it takes to create one piece largely depends on its size," Bastarrika explained. "The elephant, for example, took me 2 days, while the horse and the bison took 12 hours each. The dogs, which were smaller, needed about 6 to 8 hours." A lot of effort but the results are incredible! Take a look and decide.