Ra Paulette is a sculptor based out of Northern New Mexico. What makes Paulette’s sculpting so amazing is the media he uses and the manner he manipulates it. Using nothing but hand tools, he not only carves but creates caves in the New Mexican wilderness.
These enormous murals and engravings are a beautiful testament to a man’s pleasure in marking the world around him. Some of these projects have taken him years to get them to where they are. He uses no powered tools, so the going is slow but the detail is astonishing. He creates hillside images inside the caves (some of which he deepened and practically created), with no formal training in sculpting, structural engineering, or architecture.
‘It has a lot to do with the juxtaposition of opposites: the sense of being underground with the light streaming in; the intimacy of being in a cave, yet the columns end up very large, sometimes thirty to forty feet high,’ Paulette describes.
The almost seventy year old man shares that he doesn’t see himself as an artist. ‘He’s simply a man expressing his sense of wonder in a passionate way.’ Once the world keyed into how he was expressing his wonder, it was apparent that his sense of wonder is easily shared. A filmmaker, Jeffery Karoff, heard of this man and his dog quietly changing the New Mexican caves and ventured ou to meet him. Karoff followed Paulette for three years in the making of Cave Digger. Movie was nominated and won various awards, it was even nominated for an Oscar.