The Incredible Automata Sculpture of Carlos Zapata

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!

Torsos - by artist Carlos Zapata

Torsos - by artist Carlos Zapata

I first came across a video of one of Carlos Zapata’s automata last year and then again last week I saw another video of his. I have been amazed at the intricate workings of his delightful sculptures.

I was lost with pure delight on Carlos’s website, it is full of pictures of his work including the Elephant sculpture below. I  was completely drawn in by the stories being told and the colorful figures. This jolly  group is 28″ high, made of wood and metal and is owned by a private collector.

Elephant by artist Carlos Zapata

Elephant by artist Carlos Zapata

All of his work stands by itself a visual works of art, but nothing does his sculptures justice like seeing them in motion, it’s what make them so unique.

The layers of intricate mechanics is simply difficult to imagine figuring out.  Carlos is a self taught Automata artist and has his studio in Mabe, Cornwall. For the past 11 years he has been creating these fabulous kinetic or mechanical sculptures.

He often uses reclaimed wood and scraps or recycled metal in his work as he believes is contributes to the uniqueness of his piece, with a story behind the story.  And tell stories is one thing Carlos knows how to do.

The Automata Repairman by artist Carlos Zapata

The Automata Repairman by artist Carlos Zapata

In his own words, Carlos explains The Automata Repairman

“This man is cycling coming to repair your automata, he is getting old and he looks at the floor and then the horizon,.. but he keeps pedalling, he is carring his tools in his box. You can see all the tools that he is going to need.
Down inside the mechanisms you see this man flying and a fat cat watching him, while two hands are holding hammers moving in rhythmic way.
Down at the botton there is one collector looking at his automata and on the other side there is a dog that wonders what the fuss is about and turns its head to see you turning the handle. It’s 77 cm. High (30 Inches)”

His work has been exhibited in Museums around the world. Many of the ideas for his pieces have evolved and been taken from his own personal life experience. He often draws inspiration and is influenced by African, South American, Asian and British art.

Some of his work is very  large and contains full size figures with layers of activity below. This video Museo Parque De Las Ciencias G will give you a sense of the scale of his work.

I  can only  image how enjoyable it would be to have a piece of his wonderful sculpture to greet me each day. My favorite might very well be The Mask.

The Mask by artist Carlos Zapata

The Mask by artist Carlos Zapata

I’m happy to tell you that you can own your own coffee table book of Carlos’ work. He has self published an informative picture book that will give you a peek into his world.


Automata Carlos Zapata

Carlos often accepts commissions for his sculptures from both private and public collectors worldwide. But if you can’t wait that long, you can own one right away by visiting his website, Carlos Zapata Automata.

You can also spend hours watching his 48 videos on Youtube. While it’s not the same I’m sure, it’s the next best thing to seeing them in person.

He also has a new blog where hopefully we can get to know him even better.

Popularity: 72% [?]

Related Posts:


  1. Teri Mahl says:

    Thanks for this great article. I am going to go to his site and see it all for myself after leaving here.Incredible stuff we find on the internet! Thanks!

  2. Alice says:

    Hi Terry, I’m so glad you enjoyed it, I hope you’ve got a nice cup of coffee or tea be sided you because you’re going to be on his sites for awhile.
    And thank you for taking the time to comment.

  3. [...] Here is the post on The Incredible Automata Sculpture of Carlos Zapata. [...]

  4. So cool! Love his work!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. While surfing on YouTube for automata… up pops Zapata. Fabulous work. So glad you’re showing his talent. Of coarse you always have the best art on here. You have a great eye.

  6. Alice says:

    My pleasure, Michaele, I enjoy his work very much. Thanks.

  7. Alice says:

    Oh thank you PJ, love what you’re doing too.

Leave a Reply