Madrid-based graphic designer and illustrator Irma Gruenholz (previously here and here), crafts her illustrations out of clay, turning the typically 2D medium on its head by creating brightly dressed figures in 3D environments. Gruenholz meticulously places and photographs each of the works, placing them in books, posters and advertisements. The artist is generous about letting her audience witness her process, snapping step-by-step images that outline actions such as making tiny sandals and arranging the hairs on a mermaid’s head.
This year, Gruenholz was shortlisted for the World Illustration Awards in London, and work is also included in the recent book “Alchemy: The Art and Craft of Illustration” now available in the Colossal Shop. You explore more of her ceramic illustration work on Behance and her website.
“Library” (2007), all images via The Drawing Room
Since 2005, artist Lori Nix and partner Kathleen Gerber have been producing dioramas that depict post-apocalyptic environments, everyday scenes that give the audience a glimpse of their world once nature has been left to take over. Nearly everything within the scenes is fabricated by the two under the name Nix+Gerber, with each scene taking approximately seven months from start to the final photograph. This means that the two take approximately two photographs a year, spending the bulk of their practice on miniature reproduction.
When deciding the last piece to produce for the body of work “The City,” Nix+Gerber decided to look inward. They choose to replicate their own studio, titled “The Living Room” (2013), which Nix explains actually looks like the end of the world, a disaster scene to fit within the dystopian series. For this particular project they had to work in an extremely meta fashion, scanning each CD that sat on their shelves and reproducing an even smaller replica of a subway train car that was sitting in their studio when they started production.
“It’s the little details that really make the scene come alive,” said Nix. “The fan in the back window, the paracords going everywhere, and the little items on the table.”
Despite the fact that most of Nix’s practice is focused on creating the props for each shoot, she still labels herself as a photographer rather than sculptor. “I’m not the type of photographer that is going to go out and find things to photograph,” said Nix. “I am going to create things to photograph.”
While crafting “The Living Room,” The Drawing Room produced a short documentary about Nix+Gerber’s practice which you can see below. You can also read more about the artists’ work on their blog, and see more of their miniature scenes on their Instagram and Facebook.
“Living Room” (2013)
“Control Room” (2010)
“Anatomy Classroom” (2012)
“Laundromat at Night” (2008)
“The Subway” (2012)
“Chinese Take-Out” (2013)
“Museum of Art” (2010)
“Beauty Shop” (2010)
Quiet, 2015. Ink, watercolor, paper and pins in antique box. 5.5″h x 11.75″w x 4.5″d.
Artist Allison May Kiphuth captures scenes inspired by her surroundings in Maine and along the New Hampshire sea coast by squeezing them into small wooden boxes scarcely a few inches wide. Her mixed media dioramas are constructed from layered ink and watercolor illustrations assembled with pins and string inside antique boxes. The content of each artwork varies from piece to piece from underwater scenes of sea life, to magical tiny worlds populated by forest creatures.
Kiphuth recently had a solo show titled Interior at Paxton Gate Curiosities for Kids and will have work on view next month at the What Goes Around show at Nahcotta Gallery in New Hampshire. You can see more of her work at Enormous Tiny Art and on Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions)
The Meeting, 2015. Ink, watercolor, paper, pin and thread in antique box. 4.25″h x 4.25″w x 1.75″d.
Nocturne, 2015. Ink, watercolor, paper and pins in antique box. 6.5″h x 4.5″w x 3.625″d. // Contentment, 2015. Ink, watercolor, paper, thread and pins in antique box. 7″h x 4.5″w x 3.75″d.
The Spectators, 2015. Ink, watercolor, paper and thread in antique box. 4.25″h x 6.5″w x 3.75″d.
Harbor, 2015. Ink, watercolor, paper and pins in antique box. 2.5″h x 3.125″w x 2″d.
Perch, 2015. Ink, watercolor and paper in antique box. 1.25″h x 2.75″w x 1.125″d.
Housed in a 16th century building in the historic center of Lyon, France is the Musée Miniature et Cinéma, a 5-story museum containing over 100 miniature film sets. The tiny scenes were produced by world-renowned miniaturists and contain the highest form of Hyperrealism in order to trick the audience’s eye into believing each set was indeed life-size.
The handcrafted models contain all the minuscule features that would be found in the film’s actual scene, from fake mold inhabiting peeling walls to scratches seen behind tiny bedposts. The props in the museum’s scenes are also placed with incredible accuracy, disheveled books in libraries propped against each other at just the right angle, and miniature Charles Eames chairs that would even fool the designer. Accurate within these scenes is also their relationship to outside light, windows accentuating or distilling the light to position the set in the right time of day, geographic location or season.
“The subtle lighting arrangement, the painstaking replication of old textures, the use of the same original materials, all contribute to the creation of a moving poetry that resonates with each new miniature panorama,” explains the museum’s website.
If you don’t happen to be traveling to France anytime soon you can see more images of the meticulously detailed scenes on the Musée Miniature et Cinéma’s gallery page here. (via Beautiful/Decay)
It’s been over a year since we last checked in with artist duo Deepti Nair and Harikrishnan Panickerof Hari & Deepti, who construct elegant cut paper dioramas inside backlit light boxes. The medium is perfect for depicting the depth of thick forests, pools of water, or subterranean caves inhabited by spirits and fantastic creatures.
Over the last year Hari & Deepti relocated from Denver to Mumbai where they just completed work for their first European show at Blank Space Gallery in Oslo titled ‘We Are All Made of Stars.’ Like previous exhibitions the event was held in a darkened gallery with the only light emitted from their artwork to better emphasize the themes of travel and adventure depicted in their light boxes.
Keep an eye out for new works in December at Context Art Miami with Black Book Gallery. You can also see more on Instagram.
Canadian artist Guillaume Lachapelle explores the infinite in this series of mysterious 3D printed dioramas titled Visions. Sitting atop pedestals in a darkened gallery, the eerie “rooms” rely on lights and mirrors to create the illusion of vast spaces that seem to reflect into much larger open spaces. These pieces were on view last year as part of a solo show at Art Mur in Québec, and you can see more of them up close over on Artsy.