José Manuel Castro López accomplishes the seemingly impossible: sculpting stone to look like soft putty. His artwork is stunning. There’s no evidence that any of the stones have actually been worked on by tools.
It’s almost a little unnerving. The stones look like they must have once been molten rock and López was simply lucky enough to find these beautiful creations. However, López points out that heat would destroy most of these rocks’ internal structure.
“My stones don’t endure any physical or chemical process,” López says. “Behind every work there’s a lot of drawing and modeling, that is to say, genuinely sculptural work.” He continues, “The work must flow. Sometimes it stagnates, it collapses, it doesn’t work out, it has to be fixed.”
The Spanish sculptor cites his Galician heritage as the inspiration for his work. “In Galicia’s culture, stone has always been mythical. My relation to stone isn’t just physical, it’s magical. I don’t use the material as a mere support to sculpt around — we have a much more intimate relationship.”
The result is an intriguing illusion that hovers between rigidity and malleability. Some of the stones have been sculpted to appear like the outer layer of the rock is being peeled away. Others look like López pinched two stones together, ripped a rock apart, or twisted a boulder to a point.
“I could say that [the stone and I] know each other, we understand each other, it obeys me, and reveals itself to me. In my works, there’s no perseverance of the footprint of the sculptor. My stones are not sculpted, they manifest themselves.”
López is making new sculptures all the time. Follow him on his Facebook page to see his entire gallery of work and get updates on his latest projects.