While many of us can’t keep a decent castle together, Carl Jara, a Cleveland-based artist, creates surreal figures and scenes that defy the medium of sand sculpture. Jara has nabbed dozens of awards and world championships, traveled the world, and even been featured on the Travel Channel for his efforts. And while many take to sea animals, pirate imagery, and other ocean fare for inspiration, Jara uses sand to inject life into the unexpected.
Jara also goes by the moniker “Grain Damaged,” and by day, he’s an exhibits artisan and technician at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. While some of Jara’s pieces are more narrative-driven, much of his work adds a psychological aspect to the medium. “Infinity conveys contemplation between decreasingly small figures that each reflect on the next smallest. “What Lies Beneath,” similar to Russian nesting dolls, offers a figure that reveals more and more beneath the surface as it splits apart.
These are complex ideas for such a temporary medium, though Jara seems more occupied by new ideas than preserving the older ones. Still, the stills captured of each of his pieces may linger the next time you find yourself lounging on a beach, with all of the ingredients for this artform at your fingertips.