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  • BOLIVIA ART

    Bolivian artisans craft images of world's most famous fictional characters

    15 de octubre de 2018

    La Paz, Oct 15 (efe-epa).- A Bolivian artisan in the hills of La Paz is renowned among locals for his realistic life-size fiberglass sculptures portraying an array of fictional characters and fantasy personas.

    Ramiro Sirpa's creations spill out of his shop into the street in a wealth of characters that range from video game monsters and ghouls straight out of a horror movie to comic book heroes and movie actors.

    Sirpa told EFE that his craft started 16 years ago, when he started to replicate an assortment of fictional characters and rock band mascots, including various Star Wars characters and Eddie the Head, the mascot for British heavy metal icons Iron Maiden.

    What started as a personal hobby became a full-blown enterprise, however, as people became more and more interested in his work and began to place orders for custom-made statues.

    The artist now proudly displays a collection of characters from a variety of horror films, such as Chucky and the Nun, from the film "The Conjuring," as well as an assortment of figures from various science fiction movies, such as Iron Man and Hulk.

    Sirpa went over his "complex" method, describing how he models the sculptures out of clay first, carving what is set to become the finished product, to then pour the final material into the resulting molds.

    "After we pour the material, we polish and (finally) add details characteristic to the figure," he added.

    One of the creations he is most proud of is a 9-foot-tall Hulk put on display outside of one of the city's most popular theaters on the occasion of the release of last year's "Thor: Ragnarok."

    "(Hulk) was one of the hardest figures to make, because we were still going through the learning process," Sirpa said. "We struggled and struggled and it took three and a half months to complete."

    Sirpa currently has two "local friends" helping him out in the shop, but he usually increases his staff to meet demand in a production model that resists following industrial methods in favor of artisanship.