Calvin Seibert

by Sophie Cullen on Jul 23, 2015 in Lifestyle
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New York-based artist Calvin Seibert makes sand structures that celebrate Brutalism

Calvin Seibert says that he has always had an affinity for architecture, “I grew up in a neighborhood and town that was constantly under construction. Our house was the first on the block. I think that, in a way, I was more interested in the abstractness of the foundations and the initial framing than in the completed structures themselves.” As he became more aware of architecture in the wider world, he discovered the Brutalist movement and could relate to the style’s ruggedness and frank expression.


The artist’s medium of choice is sand, and what he manages to create from the tiny grains are sand castles that are truly mind blowing. “I rarely start with a plan,” says Seibert, “just a vague notion of trying to accomplish something different each time. Once I begin building and forms start to take shape I can start to see where things are going and either follow that road or attempt to contradict it with something unexpected.”


Working mostly on the beaches near his home in New York city, a selection of beaches in Hawaii, Texas and California have also been graced with his magnificent constructions. A lot of the work is actually done by hand, with ordinary plastic spackling knives and some simple plastic trowels being used to attain those signature geometric sides.


Although working with a natural material can be somewhat  of a test, thanks to tides, weather and varying factors, he admits that these external challenges make the builds half the fun. The structures are diverse: a castle, a fishing village, a sculpture or even a set for the Oscars, as far as he is concerned, they are organic machines that can continue to morph and grow. “I am always adding just one more bit and if time allowed I wouldn’t stop.”


All of Calvin’s work can be viewed via his Flickr page.

This is the second in our series, The Artist's Perspective. If you would like to be featured, please send your submission to

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