“Cave Digger” Ra Paulette Finds Inspiration Underground for 25 Years

by CaroPosted on

“Sometimes I feel like an archeaologist. I’m uncovering something that’s already there.” For the past 25 years, with only his dog for company, Ra Paulette has been shaping and scraping away at sandstone caves in New Mexico, turning them into man-made caves of art. It’s pretty down and dirty work, but he doesn’t complain. “When you’re doing something that you love, and are drawn to it, you want to do it all the time,” he says. Like Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel, nobody tells Paulette what to do. Alone in a cave, where he can let his imagination run free, the only thing on his mind is creating a majestic piece of work. Those who know him say that he doesn’t do things for himself- he works purely for the art. Paulette prefers to call it obsession, but no more than a child has with play. Hailed as a master of environmental art, he has attracted media attention from all over the world, and has even inspired an Academy Award nominated documentary, “The Cave Digger” about his work. Although success has found him, Paulette doesn’t put any energy into being a success. “I just want to create spaces that are transformative- that’s a big goal.”

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