Shadow puppet master Gustavo Raley throws shade at nature, pop culture

March 8, 2018

I admit, I was going to open this article by making fun of Gustavo Raley’s frankly preposterous haircut, until, at about a minute into his shadow puppet set, he used it to form the feathers of a swan’s back. That’s a level of planning and dedication to one’s art that brooks no mockery.

Given just under four minutes on French variety show Le Plus Grand Cabaret du Monde, Raley entertained a live and TV audience with offbeat shadow puppets that covered half-a dozen animals and nearly two decades of pop culture.

While the likenesses are good, it’s Raley’s energetic approach and excellent timing that breathes life into the shadows. His Woody Woodpecker is particularly solid. 

Raley is an Argentinian magician, technician and shadow puppeteer who started performing at just four-years-old. He’s been performing his signature pop culture shadow puppets routine for over thirty years. You can visit his Spanish-language website here.