He's been called "The Picasso of pumpkin carving" and his pumpkins are stunningly spectacular, but Ray Villafane is also a remarkable sand sculptor. His “Elephant and Mouse,” created in collaboration with Long Island-based artist Sue Beatrice, is now on view at Arizona's Carefree Desert Gardens (Arizona is a lovely place - Villafane lives in Surprise, which is not far from Carefree, both just north of Phoenix).
From Phoenix magazine (which anoints Villafane as "the Sendak of sand sculpture"):
The sand sculpture depicts an elephant playing chess with a mouse, and is striking with its life-size scale and details, like the tiny hairs on the elephant’s head, eyelashes and tail (made from palm frond fibers), and tree rings in the stump. A bulging bag of peanuts lies to one side, with some spilling out of the sack and one that appears to be floating in midair, as if falling from the elephant’s mouth. “It’s magic,” Beatrice says, before pointing to a small stick connecting the elephant and the peanut. “[Ray] is over the top, and he can do anything. In addition to his artistic talent, he’s great at creative problem-solving. That’s just one example.”
And check out this report for some images of the work in progress.
It's the season, so come on kids - surely this and the artist's gallery are inspirations for the beach?