Ornate Spiny-Tailed Lizard

Spiny Lizard

“Ornate Spiny-Tailed Lizard” is hand-sculpted from steel and pigmented concrete with glass mosaic tile. It is a much larger than life piece that weighs in at almost 1,000 pounds! Notice how the sun catches the iridescent tiles on the lizard’s back and makes them look like every color in the rainbow. One of the ways you can spot the work of these artists is the mesmerizing eyes that their sculptures have, which are made specially out of glass for each character. Do you see that this lizard is smiling?

By Solomon Bassoff and Domenica Mottarella

Artists Solomon Bassoff and Domenica Mottarella work together in sculpted, pigmented concrete which they sculpt by hand like clay. They then add steel, tile mosaic, glass and other materials to create unique and whimsical animal characters that are designed to invite exploration and curiosity. They like to convey animals’ emotional characteristics to create a connection between the human and animal world with their unique blend of naturalism and realism.

Together, Bassoff and Mottarella run Faducci Studio, located in the foothills of the California Sierra Nevada. They have created much-loved public artworks In California, Washington, Oklahoma, and Texas. Keep a look out for them, as they are very recognizable. These artworks always look like they are about to tell you a story.

View all sculptures by this artist.

Did You Know?

  • Spiny Lizards range from 2 ¼” to 5 ¼” and have keeled, pointed scales which help to protect them and regulate their temperature..
  • They are native to North and Central America and are one of the most common creatures you will find at The Grand Canyon. You can also find them in Texas!
  • You will most likely find these lizards basking on rocks because like all lizards, they are cold-blooded and need external heat to become active.
  • Spiny Lizards primarily feed on ants, beetles, centipedes, and grasshoppers but every once in a while will feed on berries. 
  • During the winter, they take shelter under rocks, in cracks, and in abandoned rodent burrows.

At The Zoo

The Herpetarium is where you will find all kinds of lizards, snakes and amphibians, including close relatives of this happy spiny lizard in the sculpture zoo. You can also find some of the most venomous creatures in the World safely behind glass. Check out the beautiful poison arrow frogs and stunning snakes.


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