Artist Spends 10 Years Digging This Mesmerizing Cave In New Mexico
American artist Ra Paulette digs cathedral-like art caves into the sandstone cliffs of Northern New Mexico. After being cut off from most of his projects due to artistic differences between him and his commissioners, the artist decided to start his own personal and independent project and to dedicate 10 years of his life to dig a cave subject only to his own artistic vision.
“I’m through working for other people. I’m not the paint brush and my client is not the painter,” confidently states Paulette. “I’ve had ideas for ages that I’ve never gotten to trying. I wanted to create a space that’s transformative. That’s a big goal.“
Paulette spent over a decade traveling to the location to work there alone, accompanied only by his dog. He dug all the decorations and spaces within the caves, including the entrances, stairs, and corridors, using manual tools.
“Manual labor is the foundation of my self-expression. To do it well, to do it beautifully, is a ‘whole-person’ activity, engaging mental and emotional strengths as well as psychical strength,” writes Paulette. “I’m fond of calling this ‘the dance of digging,’ and it is the secret of how this old man can get so much done.”