New York-based street artist Joe Mangrum has spent the last 8 years drawing beautiful, hypnotic patterns and designs on the streets and squares of New York. But chances are you probably won’t see any of them because his unique art tends to disappear.

Mangrum draws his impressive and expansive street art by pouring brightly-colored sand from his hands. The circular geometric forms he uses, as well as his use of colored sand, makes his work resemble traditional Buddhist sand mandalas, but he also mixed in marine biological design elements and others to give his work a unique look. The artist writes that his “paintings are influenced by an abundant world of undersea creatures, carnivorous plants emanating electrical impulses,… [and] cross-cultural metaphors from many years of travels around the world.”

Even more interesting, however, is the impermanent nature of his work and the philosophical questions such cool art raises. If the paintings you spend hours creating can be blown away overnight, do they lose or gain value? Could it be that we are over-attached to things that provide us with fleeting moments of emotion or beauty? Is losing such a beautiful work of art to the wind wasteful or sacred?

For more excellent example of sand art, check out these beautiful and impermanent works by Andres Amador and the Sand In Your Eye gallery by Andy Moss and Jamie Wardley.

Prints: | See works in progress: Facebook (via: thisiscolossal)