Croatian matchstick Michelangelo makes his labours life-size

January 21, 2024 5:24 pm

[Source: Reuters]

Croatian artist Tomislav Horvat is not the first person to make models out of matchsticks, but he may be the most ambitious.

Horvat thinks nothing of putting 210,000 matchsticks to use to create a life-size sculpture of a pianist playing a grand piano, complete with matchstick strings.

Not content with that, the 34-year-old from the northern village of Domasinec is just a year and a half away from completing his version of Michelangelo’s giant sculpture of David.

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“I need another 30,000 matchsticks to finish it. That is, it’ll need about 430,000 in total,” he said. “I’ve been working on it for six years.”

Horvat began making much smaller models, but in 2013 took on a more substantial challenge – a life-size rendition of actor Al Pacino as his iconic character Don Corleone from Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 film “The Godfather”.

Sculptures on that scale would collapse without a supporting structure, which he moulds from papier-maché or wood.

“The Pianist” is his second work on a grand scale, and his third is “Desperate Man”, a thematic collection with 54,000 matches that took a year and a half.

Horvat has exhibited his works in galleries in Croatia, including the capital Zagreb. But they are not, for now, available to buy.