Croatian artist Tomislav Horvat is not the first person to make models out of matchsticks, but he might be creating the largest projects.
A matchstick is the short, thin piece of wood that is used to make matches for lighting fire.
Horvat thinks nothing of using 210,000 matchsticks to create a life-size statue, or sculpture, of a musician playing on a large piano. The instrument even comes complete with matchstick strings.
But that was not enough for the 34-year-old from the northern village of Domasinec. He is just a year and a half away from completing his version of Michelangelo’s sculpture of David.
Michelangelo was a famous Italian artist who lived about 500 years ago. He created a famous marble sculpture of The Bible’s King David that is in the city of Florence.
"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 small models, but in 2013 he took on a larger project. He decided to create a life-size version of American actor Al Pacino as his celebrated character Don Corleone from Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 film The Godfather.
Sculptures that size would collapse without a supporting structure. He creates this additional structure from a material called papier-mâché or wood.
The Pianist is his second work that is of a large size. His third is Desperate Man, which is made of 54,000 matches and took a year and a half to make.
Horvat has shown his works in galleries in Croatia, including the capital Zagreb. But they are not, for now, available to buy.
I’m Gregory Stachel.
Antonio Bronic reported this story for Reuters. Gregory Stachel adapted it for VOA Learning English.
Words in This Story
piano – n. a large musical instrument with a keyboard that you play by pressing black and white keys and that produces sound when small hammers inside the piano hit steel wires
string – n. a long, thin piece of twisted thread that you use to attach things, tie things together, or hang things
character – n. a person who appears in a story, book, play, movie, or television show
gallery – n. a room or building in which people look at paintings or sculptures