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Posts Tagged ‘Calvin Seibert’

Sandcastle Artist

Photo: Calvin Seibert
Artist Calvin Seibert lives frugally in order to make his ephemeral art. He favors New York beaches for his sandcastles.

Here’s something a bit warmer to think about as winter’s cold brings out our heavy coats, boots, gloves, hats, and scarves: sandcastles at the beach.

Alexxa Gotthardt writes at Artsy, “It’s early September on New York’s Rockaway Beach, and the strong winds — aftershocks of Hurricane Harvey — keep most beachgoers away. But not sandcastle artist Calvin Seibert.

“He’s sitting on the shore, midway through sculpting the latest of the many whimsical castles he’s made over the course of the summer. This one — whose angled edges and shadowy nooks resemble a Brutalist temple by way of M.C. Escher — rises from a plot close to the crashing waves. …

“The artist, now 59 years old, has been making sandcastles most of his life. Over the last five years, he’s made the ephemeral structures the focus of his overall art practice, which has also included sculptures forged from cardboard salvaged from the street. ‘I’ve always made things outdoors from the materials I find around me, so this is sort of a long continuation of that,’ Seibert tells me …

“Seibert grew up in Vail, Colorado, in the 1960s, when the resort town was growing fast and mired in construction projects. ‘Everywhere you looked, there were construction and sand piles to play in, and scrap and garbage mounds to pull stuff from,’ he remembers. From these leavings, he built treehouses, fantasy worlds, and models of buildings that he’d glimpsed, like the TWA Flight Center at New York’s JFK Airport. …

“Like most other aspects of Seibert’s life, his process is economical. ‘I do this partly because the main materials I use, sand and water, are free — and there’s a lot of them,’ he explains, smiling. ‘I also live very frugally. No eating out. No movies. No air conditioning. No dog. No car. That’s how I can afford to do this.’ …

“This past winter, Seibert [exhibited] his sandcastles at Ramiken Crucible on New York’s Lower East Side. For several months, he made them on the gallery floor with construction-grade sand trucked in from a local lumberyard. The show marked a rare occasion that Seibert’s castles were for sale (one went to an unnamed private collector).

“Seibert has made money from his sand creations in other ways, too. … Hermès also tapped Seibert’s skills for one of the luxury brand’s photo shoots. The trip to took him first to Paris, where he gathered supplies. ‘On Facebook, I said, “I knocked that off my bucket list … I’m in Paris, shopping for buckets!” ‘ he laughs.”

More great pictures at Artsy, here.

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