by Lisa Juliot (May 2013)
What could be more fun than playing in the glistening white sand of the Riviera Maya, building sand castles all day long while enjoying the ocean breeze? According to Jose Gonzalez, the answer is creating sand art SCULPTURES in Playa del Carmen. This incredible artist, originally from Venezuela, came to Playa del Carmen to enhance our already beautiful beaches with his distinctive artistic flare. Jose Gonzalez has traveled up and down various coastlines, bringing smiles and wonder to those who appreciate his short-lived works of art.
Jose has a crew of helpers. Building sand sculptures of this magnitude is no small feat. Wooden forms are built, sand is carried from one place to another, and the exact amount of water needs to be mixed with the fine, white sand to achieve the perfect consistency for sculpture building. Not to mention that the sand sculptures need to be protected day and night to keep people from toppling them! Of course we all know the joy of stomping down a sand creation—it is a true temptation for many!
The sand sculptures need to be spritzed with water every 20 minutes to keep them from drying out and crumbling. This spritzing turns into a full-time job as the artist creates more and more sand sculptures. Rain and wind are the enemies of sand art that this brave artist battles daily. Each sculpture is retouched daily to maintain its fine details.
Jose Gonzalez worked with Solidaridad, the municipality of Playa del Carmen, to artistically enhance our beaches. The sand art exhibition was on display on the public beach area in front of Parque Fundadores, downtown Playa del Carmen, through May 20, 2013.
The backdrop of the new landmark sculpture, Portal Maya 2012, set the tone for Jose Luis' fantastic sand sculptures. A sand interpretation of the Travesia Sagrada, the reenactment of the retracing of an ancient Maya trade route to the island of Cozumel by canoe was also in the works. A wishing well, to help your dreams come true for this new era of the Maya calendar was present, front and center and the artist's depiction of Ixchel, the Maya goddess of fertility was also present.
The sand sculptures changed and advanced greatly on a daily basis. They grew in size and detail and became more and more elaborate with each new day. The sculptures could even be seen from Playa del Carmen's trendy Fifth Avenue, across the Plaza Fundadores. Soon the sculptures were finished.
The beauty of these sand sculptures was fleeting. They were trampled upon, wind blown, and returned to the flat shimmering beach that makes the Riviera Maya famous with tourists and beach lovers from all over the world.