Growing up in Colorado, Calvin Seibert spent a lot of time at construction sites. Back then, he was thousands of miles away from an ocean, but that didn’t stop him from building castles out of the massive mounds of sand. I first met him YEARS ago (we’re talking 80s) when he was assisting my friend, artist Rodney Alan Greenblat. We recently reconnected and I found out among other things, he’s been making these amazingly sandy complexes. His castles are not so much sand castles as they are brutalist structures of his architectural inspirations like Paul Rudolph, Gottfried Bohm and Giovanni Michelucci.
“I always had an affinity for architecture which I attribute to growing up in a neighborhood and town that was constantly under construction. As I was becoming more aware of the architecture in the wider world, Brutalism was one of the styles of the moment.”
Calvin’s tool kit? A 5-gallon pail to tote water and sand, a plastic placemat for leveling surfaces and another little piece of plastic for getting those sharp edges. That’s it. But they key is making sure the texture of the sand is just right. Too dry; weak and crumbly. Too wet; hard to shape.
“I walk to Penn Station, take the train out to Jones Beach, I walk for 40 minutes so I’m so far out I can build a castle and have it be there several days later because no one’s bothered it.”
He spends the entire day and would go longer but the light goes and then so does Calvin, leaving his follies to the elements. All that’s left are these photos and maybe a little sun kissed glow on Calvin’s happy face.