If you’ve ever visited the Anza Borrego Desert, you have quite likely seen the magnificent, metal sculptures that are scattered across the desert floor. From huge mammoths, to dragons and giant sloths, the desert quickly becomes an enchanting land with over 130 sculptures of both ancient and mythological beasts.
The artist behind these sculptures is Ricardo Breceda, who has been creating these beloved pieces for over 25 years. It all began when his daughter, who was 6 at the time, requested her very own dinosaur as a birthday gift after seeing Jurassic Park III.
Breceda was up for the challenge and decided to trade in a pair of his boots for a welding machine. Within a few weeks the dinosaur was finished, standing at an impressive 20 feet! It didn’t take long for Breceda to realize his true passion and begin treating his love of transforming metal into a career.
Possibly the most exciting part of it all is that not only is Ricardo Breceda still creating beautiful pieces to this day, but his outdoor gallery is located right on the outskirts of San Diego! We took an outing to the back-country one day to see it with our own eyes and visit the man behind it all.
Ricardo was very welcoming when we visited and gave us a tour of his outdoor gallery. It is an impressive collection to walk through and doesn’t come without an adventure as some of the pieces require a little hiking to get to them.
All sculptures are available for purchase through his gallery and vary in size and price. If you are interested in a custom piece, all that is required is a photo or sketch, and Ricardo can create something a unique just for you.
Here’s the artist himself!
A work in progress: