Mozu may be just 20 years old, but the artist is already crafting awe-inspiring miniature worlds. Works like "The Stairs of the Dwarf" take four months to complete. The artist’s recreations of his bedroom, telephone poles, and “my working desk” show a knack for recreating the everyday in diorama format.
Abigail Goldman, who also serves as an investigator for the federal public defender in Nevada, crafts miniature "Die-o-ramas," each blending violence and a bit of humor. The work shares in the crime fascination of Corinne Botz's work (featured in HF Vol. 33) and the structure-centered dioramas of Thomas Doyle (featured in Hi-Fructose Collected 3). For scale: The humans in these works are less than an inch tall.
Patrick Jacobs crafts dioramas viewed through a window and presenting “the viewer with a spatial and perceptual conundrum.” The artist combines sculpture, painting, and other media to create these lush scenes, moving between the familiar and the otherworldly in seemingly endless lanscapes. Recent dioramas have offered a larger, more immersive viewpoint.
Tatsuya Tanaka’s photographs combines normal objects and tiny figures to craft surreal scenes. A phone becomes a fishing hole; a whistle becomes a slide. In each of these daily works, the artist uses scale and humor to make us re-examine the items we use each day. The blissful creations are part of an ongoing, daily project. An enormous catalog of these scenes goes back to April of 2011.
At first glance, the Kaitlyn Schwalje sculpture “Unfit for Consumption” appears to tell a parable of some sort. The top of the piece scene seems serene, with grazing boars and a strange liquid form taking shape. Yet, a more ominous narrative forms when one looks below. The truth is that Schwalje’s sculpture has even stranger, yet real-world origins.
Tracey Snelling is currently featured in our Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose exhibition at Virginia MOCA, Imagining Home at the Baltimore Museum of Art, and soon at Volta Basel, opening this week. We caught up with her to talk about her new works, which collectively offer psychedelic versions of places, as in her recreation of strip clubs, as well as her own criticisms, expressed in "Shoot It!", a commentary on gun rights in America.
Detroit based multimedia artist Andy Krieger is inspired by ordinary subjects from his every life, but when applied to his three-dimensional paintings, something extraordinary happens. "I make art work that straddles a boundary between two and three dimensions," Krieger writes. "Sculptural paintings with an open ended narrative, that also starts a dialogue between the piece and the viewer about perception and perspective." More like dioramas, his art makes us rethink how we look at painting.
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.
New York based artist Thomas Doyle invites us to look into another world with his humorous, and often times dark dioramas. First featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 11, and again in our Collected 3 edition, his small-scale sculptures of houses and suburban towns provide an unexpected perspective of domestic life. As Doyle once explained, something has either just happened or is about to happen to their tiny inhabitants that combine the nostalgia of playing with our childhood toys with a sense of foreboding.
Oakland based artist Tracey Snelling, featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 35, creates detailed dioramas and installations of urban landscapes. Ranging from miniature to large scale pieces, her installations represent her impression of a space through the use of mixed media like sculpture, video, and photography. Hers is an imaginary world based on real places, sometimes populated by dolls and figurines, and lit dramatically by LCD screens and film stills to add a flicker of life. For her latest multimedia installation debuting on November 20th, Snelling wanted to capture the vulnerability and strength found in poverty-stricken slums around the world.
Throughout time, flowers have stood as symbols of beauty. Their vibrant color and pleasant aroma has made them integral parts of rituals around the world. To see them as bouquets and arrangements in the background is common in many cultures. Floral artist Kirk Cheng pays tribute to flowers by making attention grabbing displays, which take beauty that is normally glanced over and push it to the center of attention. Cheng creates wall gardens of seasonal plants, drawing the symbolism found in the plant's color or species. Behind the glass of sleek dioramas, they look like perfectly preserved specimens from some other dreamy world.
Toronto-based artist TALWST creates miniature worlds inside of vintage jewelry boxes with scenes that touch upon art history, folklore, pop culture, and current events. While some of his miniature dioramas are humorous and lighthearted, others draw attention to pressing human rights crises.
French artist Marc Giai-Miniet has been creating for over 50 years, and over that time has accumulated a variety of titles from hobbyist, painter, printmaker, draftsman, and a "pipe puller" of symbols. His never-ending large scale dioramas which he calls “boxes” are almost Escher like. They take us through theatrical stages of industrial rooms; dusty libraries, attics, and winding, nonsensical machinery. These creepy post-disastrous events or crime scenes are beautiful in their destruction, similar to Lori Nix (covered here). Pops of color guide the eye throughout, but with no relief of an exit. Upon close inspection, one can find human organs and tiny, flickering flames of cast iron ovens. Read more after the jump.
Though we have developed a culture that places us at the center of the universe, the forces of nature will continue to exist with our without mankind. This is a notion that Japanese sculptor Ocoze explores in his mixed-media works where trees and plant life appear to overtake man-made objects and architecture. The small-scale, refined works use combinations of plaster, steel and resin with found objects. At times Ocoze's miniature structures appear to be thwarted by the burgeoning plant life, while in some pieces buildings are sculpted in what looks like a symbiotic relationship with the trees. One of Ocoze's recent works, in which a castle rests atop a moss-covered skull, brings home the message that life is impermanent and nature will ultimately prevail.