This artist has created sandcastles that are so bold, architects should consider them for their next designs.
Building a sandcastle is a craft nearly all of us have tried, yet never mastered. It requires creativity, patience, a steady hand, and close proximity to a sandy beach. That is, of course, unless you’re Calvin Seibert. The New York-based artist grew up in Colorado, far from any traditional location to construct sandcastles. But that didn’t stop him from cultivating a talent that has since earned him wide praise and global recognition (Hermès commissioned Seibert to build sandcastles as part of a photoshoot in France).
“Although I grew up far from any beaches, my childhood neighborhood had a lot of construction sites,” says Seibert. “So I would go to these places and use their sand piles to begin forming castles. There is a very distinct extension between what I do on the beach now and what I did when I was eight years old in the construction zones.”
As he grew older, Seibert became more serious about building sandcastles. “In the early days very few people were aware of what I was creating on the beach, just the regulars,” he explained. “But with the advent of Flickr, and later, Instagram things began to take off.” So much so that he was invited by the Summit Series to be an artist in residence for their event in Tulum, Mexico. There, he spent everyday on the beach building his own castles. When asked if he had to create any type of structure to appease the hotels, Seibert replied, “I don’t take any direction, I build what I want to build.” He admits that he does have a vague notion of what he wants to create before he begins sculpting, but other than that, it’s mostly improvising. “On a basic level, I try to make something different each time. It’s much harder to try and recreate the White House, for example, then to make something unique and abstract. I’m not breaking any rules when it’s my own form that’s being created, there were none there to begin with.”
Below are twenty-three of Seibert’s best creations. The designs are enchanting, at times mirroring brutalist and modernist structures. Which makes sense as he’s long adored the works of those eras. “I’ve always had a real affinity for the likes of Marcel Breuer and Le Corbusier, in a way they are heroes of mine.”