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This Sand Artist Makes Incredibly Realistic Sculptures

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There are creative artists from all over the world that use a variety of methods to express themselves, but none quite like this! Andoni Bastarrika, a gifted multimedia artist from Basque Country, Spain, loves to build sand sculptures of animals on the beach. These fantastic creations are so detailed, you’d think that they are the real thing. Even the most extravagant sandcastle pales in comparison to these amazing works of art. 

An Incredible Talent

Andoni began creating his detailed sand art in the summer of 2010 while spending time with his daughters at the beach. He tried his hand at making them a sculpture of a little mermaid, a sculpture that made his little girls extremely happy. It was then that he realized that he could use his talent as an artist to create hyperrealistic sand sculptures of the world around him, animals in particular. He took his time figuring out how to create these sculptures, which have now garnered him acclaim from people all over the world.


Andoni Bastarrika / Instagram

The artist had a reason for creating these masterpieces from sand and knew that he wanted animals to be his main focus. “Sand fascinates me because no matter where you look, it will always teach you if you are willing to learn,” Andoni said in a Facebook post. “The reason why I like to make animal sculptures, one among many, is because animals are free spirits, even if we the unconscious have them locked up. They are unique, beautiful, and carriers of great wisdom, so that humans can reflect and learn from them.”

Putting in Work

Working at the Basque beaches in Spain, Andoni always uses an elevated cement platform near the coast and works to deposit buckets of sand there to create his sculptures. He adds a bit of water to make the sand moist and begins to shape it into a masterpiece, capturing expressions and other physical details of these animals. The artist uses a sharpened stick and a feather to help mold the sand as well.


Andoni Bastarrika / Instagram

In addition, Andoni may use other materials like ashes, coal powder, clay powder, stone powder of different colors, and glass shards to finish his works of art. He sometimes also uses other accessories, like real horns for this sculpture of a bull, and rocks as hooves. It’s the attention of the tiny details that really make these sculptures even more realistic. 

Magnificent Creations

Over the past 10 years, Andoni has truly honed his craft and has created a variety of realistic animal sculptures like sharks, elephants, dogs, and more.  Other sand sculptures on his resume include a horse, a great white shark, a bison, and a rhino. The Spanish artist also takes pleasure in creating sculptures of different dog breeds laying around on the beach. 


Andoni Bastarrika / Instagram

After he is finished with his work, the artist typically posts photos of the completed masterpieces on his Instagram. His work is seen by thousands all over the world, which is something that he’s very proud of. However, he admitted that creating these realistic pieces also takes a good bit of time and energy out of his days. “The time it takes to create one piece largely depends on its size,” Andoni explained in an interview. “The elephant, for example, took me two days, while the horse and the bison took 12 hours each. The dogs, which were smaller, needed about six to eight hours.” It’s all worth it in the end, though. Not only has Andoni gotten a great deal of attention because of his work, but he also truly has a passion for what he does. With a gift like this, hopefully, he never stops creating! 

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