Creating Earth Sculptures That Seamlessly Merge Art And The Environment

Art occurs naturally everywhere in nature. It’s not hard to see the beauty in trees, the sky, animals, and bodies of water. But what if you could create art from nature? That’s what San Francisco artist Ernest “Hoodie” Salinas is doing with his earth sculptures. The environmentally-conscious artist collects found wood to assemble huge, insanely detailed, intricate sculptures at music festivals and events all over the world.

Outdoor artwork can be tricky — the beauty they hold while on display is wonderful, but their creation often has a harmful effect on the environment surrounding the installations. There’s a sense of purity that’s lost. Salinas’s structures are different — he only builds from locally sourced materials, reclaimed woods, metals and glass. “Hoodie” has created sculptures of everything from animals to bed frames to abstract creations to depictions of gods and goddesses. His work comes from nature and is a part of it.

“The main intention for these sculptures is to kind of create a portal for people,” he says of his work. “The same way music — how it makes you feel, it makes you happy or sad. These sculptures are the same: you can create an image visually to unlock things in their mind.”

Hoodie’s distinct approach — using art as nature therapy in the vein of Andy Goldsworthy — is gaining popularity. He’s been invited to create at large festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival and Envision. In a time when art and the environment feel under attack, Hoodie merges the two dramatically.