Bilbo’s hobbit hole, a rusty ranch, and a workshop with an old Thunderbird ’55 are just a few of the tiny worlds hand-crafted by Raphael Truffi Bortholuzzi. The Sao Paulo based artist and miniaturist began building the dioramas in 2010, an ongoing project that he calls “Grandmondo Miniatures”, meaning “big world” miniatures. Though his dioramas are fantastic in their smallness, and sometimes delve into imagined worlds, for the most part, Bortholuzzi says he is interested in imitating real life.
Bortholuzzi uses a diverse variety of materials, from wood, metal, glass and even computer parts, while organic materials are used to create grass, moss and dirt for vegetation. The amount of detail that goes into his work is significant and purely for his own pleasure- details like rust, grime, and splinters can’t be seen behind closed doors or underneath objects. “On average, each project can take from 1 to 6 months its construction depending on the complexity,” he shares.
“Diorama is an artistic presentation, in a very realistic way, scenes of real life exposure to education or entertainment purposes,” Bortholuzzi writes at his website. “The scene can be a landscape, plants, animals, historical events, etc., is produced by hand in scale so that simulate a real form. All these techniques are ways to present a realistic view of a large scene in a compact space.”
First studying graphic design, and now an full-time art director, Bortholuzzi’s miniatures began with an urge to bring his digital skills into the physical realm: “I began to rebuild on a smaller scale nature and everyday things, like turn scenes from his imagination into reality. The miniature works depict a peculiar curiosity, different for each viewer. With realism and detail of each object comes an intimate relationship between the viewer and the work.”