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64-Year-Old Artist Receives Worldwide Recognition by Creating Unbelievable Snow Art — With His Feet

64-Year-Old Artist Receives Worldwide Recognition by Creating Unbelievable Snow Art — With His Feet

Simon Beck not only creates amazing, massive pieces of artwork, but he arguably created a brand new art form itself.

We've probably all made a snowman in our lives, but have you ever seen snow art?

Yes. It exists.

In order to find anything like the amazing works of art created by a 64-year-old British man named Simon Beck, you have to consider several other types of art blended together.

You can consider a sand mandala, wherein part of the beauty is the inherent ephemerality. You can consider geometric Bauhaus-style art that briefly flourished in the early 1900s. You can even consider crop circles.

Long story short, it’s very hard to sum up the work of Beck by comparing it to other art, because he has essentially created a new art form: snow art. And massive snow art, at that.

Beck’s Professional Background Perfectly Prepared His Artistic Path

Born in London in 1958, Beck would eventually settle in the French Alps, the landscape that would become the “canvas” for much of his work.

Before he began that work, however, Beck earned a degree in Civil Engineering from Oxford University and he worked for many years as a cartographer.

Both his training and his work experience would prove to be the perfect background for a man who was destined to create some of the most unique artwork of our time, for indeed Beck’s snow art combines the planning and math of engineering with the geographical acuity of a mapmaker.

His art also requires being able to keep moving along over snowfields for hours on end, also known as being fit. And determined.

The Mapmaker Switches to Massive-Scale Art

Around the time he turned 50, Simon Beck made a change in his life that would soon be to the awe of people all around the world.

He began to make his snow art.

To create his massive works, Beck first does a lot of planning, using the same types of tools he would have employed in cartography.

Then he straps on a pair of snowshoes and heads out into the field.

To create a single piece of his amazing snow art, Simon Beck may end up trudging as many as 30 miles in a given day, putting in some 40,000 steps for some of his pieces. Some of the natural installations measure a mile across, and all are astonishingly intricate and complex, appearing created with computer-like precision when seen from afar.

Given how long it takes a make a single piece of snow art, it’s impressive that Beck manages to create a few dozen of them each year.

But don't our word for it -- see for yourself:

Simon Beck’s Refreshing Outlook on Ephemeral Art

A piece of artwork created with snow or sand as the medium is, by its very nature, temporary. But does it bother Beck that he puts in hours and hours of work only it to be blown or washed away before long?

Not at all. “Most people will only ever see most of the world's artwork as photographs," Beck is quoted as saying via Artsy. "Even with the Mona Lisa, probably only a minority of people have actually seen the real thing, but everyone's seen a photograph of it.”

Is seeing a photo of Beck’s work as good as beholding a massive snowy work of art in person?

No, but it’s far better than not seeing it at all.

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