This doesn't look like child's play, but Calvin Seibert has been molding structures out of sand since he was a kid messing around in Vail's dusty construction sites. Most recently profiled by City Lab, he's a Brooklyn artist who has a meticulous strategy for bringing curved, stacked, angled, and otherwise architecturally intricate structures to life on the sand of New York City's beaches. Whether it's Fort Tilden, Coney Island, or Rockaway, Seibert concocts a complex saltwater-sand mixture before sculpting it with "carefully selected tools: plastic spackling blades and trowels made specially of Plexiglas (metal rusts, after all)."
On his Flickr page, which contains one mindboggling image after another, he writes:
Building "sandcastles" is a bit of a test. Nature will always be against you and time is always running out. Having to think fast and to bring it all together in the end is what I like about it. ... In my mind they are always mash-ups of influences and ideas. I see a castle, a fishing village, a modernist sculpture, a stage set for the Oscars all at once.
In the summer, he works on his sandcastle complexes up to five days a week and 10 hours a day. The rest of the year, he focuses on more "traditional" art (sculptures from discarded cardboard) that goes in galleries.
He doesn't even mind when waves sweep his masterpieces awayor even when kids jump on them.
As Seibert told CityLab, "A sandcastle is ephemeral. There is a thing on the horizon that's going to destroy it. That's what makes it powerful and interesting."
Some ones from before this summer: