In his hands, even solid rocks seem like play-dough. And his creations are a testimony to his skill in manipulating stones into something that seems downright impossible. He’s José Manuel Castro López, a Spanish sculptor, who carves hard stones to make them appear malleable, soft, and squishy! In the process, he breathes life into them.
López, born in Vilasuso, a village near A Coruña, a port city in north-west Spain, was always interested in art from childhood days. It wasn’t surprising that he chose to study the art of sculpture at Escola de Canteiros University.
Although this Spanish sculptor can create impressive artworks carved out of any kind of stone, he prefers to use quartz and granite, since they lend themselves to be shaped in any which way…in smooth, wrinkly, or other textures. He’s at ease working with rocks both large and small.
One simply needs to look at the pieces created by López to admire how he transforms hard surfaces into gentle fabric-like creases, crinkles, twists, folds, and many other shapes. He begins each sculpture by delicately grinding the surface of quartz or granite stone into the desired shape without any preconceived idea. With no plans in advance, he simply goes with the flow, counting on inspiration to strike during the process!
In one of the interviews with The Creator Project, as quoted by vice.com, López reveals, “My relationship with stone is not physical but magical. She recognizes me and obeys me…we understand each other. My stones are not devoid of life, they look as they are.”
How López is able to grind the stones and give them a finish is to be seen to be believed. And he’s quite open about his sculpting process. Says he in an interview to dailymail.co.uk, “I never imagined that the viewer will not understand my technique nor did I try to hide the way I do it, even my colleagues, masters of sculpture techniques, ask me how I work.”
There is certainly magic in López’s works and the way he challenges the laws of nature by creating simple pinches, folds, swirls, ripples, and much more into the hard, unforgiving stone.
José Manuel Castro López