“Bird by bird I’ve come to know the earth,” said Pablo Neruda in his book Art of Birds, a quote that has since inspired artist Dina Brodsky to begin her own exploration of birds in an ongoing miniature painting project by the same name: Bird by Bird. The artist first began the project last year as a way to explore the native birds around New York city as her now 18-month-old baby napped in a stroller. The endeavor has since grown to incorporate more rare and exotic birds depicted in everything from ballpoint pen to watercolor and gouache. The bird paintings have become so popular with fans that she’s created a dedicated Instagram account to collect them all.
For their brand new advertisement, Finnish coffee roaster Paulig asked director and animator Lucas Zanotto to brew a cup of coffee from a single bean. Using a nail file to create the grounds, Zanotto then boils water over a single tea light, and finally pours the freshly brewed java one drop at a time into a thimble-sized mug. The video has a direct relationship to recently popularized miniature cooking videos on Youtube, which have produced everything from miniature deep-fried chicken to tiny shrimp tempura. You can watch more of the Helsinki-based director’s videos on his Instagram and Vimeo, and take a look at Zanotto’s miniature coffee brewing techniques above.
Working at 1:20 scale, artist Joshua Smith builds in-depth works that capture the layered existences of urban environments in cities such as Hong Kong, Sydney, and Los Angeles. His miniature buildings showcase the details and detritus left by the diverse population of each city, bringing in elements of the city’s workers, inhabitants, and street artists. These marks can be seen through heavily graffitied exteriors, and thoughtful additions like a small table on the roof of one building with takeout food from the tiny Chinese restaurant below.
Smith has been working on this series for the last two years, after stints as both a stencil artist and gallerist. Using several reference photos from a building’s actual site, he utilizes MDF, cardboard, and plastic to create the base of the work, and chooses paint and chalk pastels for the exterior’s details. Smith’s newest four-story work took him three months to complete, often working 8-16 hours a day.
The Australian artist recently exhibited his miniature buildings with Muriel Guepin Gallery at VOLTA Art Fair in New York City from March 1-5. You can see more of his work on his Instagram and Facebook. (via My Modern Met)
As part of her ongoing series titled Traveling Landscapes, New York-based artist Kathleen Vance constructs entire landscapes inside of old steamer trunks and repurposed luggage. Many of the pieces incorporate real running water, soil, and living plant life to form encapsulated environments, though others are constructed from common model making materials and resin. The pieces are intended to speak to the fragility of drinking water reservoirs and issues of water rights. She shares in her artist statement:
Materials that are commonly defined as natural and artificial are combined in the creation of these works, isolating aspects that are indicative of the ‘natural’ (while sometimes are considered unnatural). The landscapes created are transformative in their illusion of a nature scene; they are contained in traveling cases to magnify the displacement of a seemingly natural landscape in an unusual framework. These pieces extenuate the desire for ‘untouched’ natural environments, and the claim and proprietorship that are placed on plots of land, which carries over to water rights.
Vance recently unveiled a larger site-specific installation titled Traveling Landscape: Precious Cargo with ROCKELMANN & at VOLTA NY 2017. (via Art Ruby, Inhabitat)
Produced between 2006 and 2009, Australian designer and illustrator Dan McPharlin's Analogue Miniatures are a marvel of papercraft. The tiny analogue synthesizers and pieces of recording equipment were pieced together with paper, framing mat board, string, rubber bands and cardboard, and appeared in everything from art shows to editorial spreads in magazines like Esquire. McPharlin is widely known for his retro sci-fi illustration work that appears on album covers and in limited edition prints, and he brings this aspect of fiction to these paper models as well. None of the objects are meant as exact replicas or recreations of real-life devices, but are instead speculative objects that draw aesthetic attributes from the audio technology of the 70s and 80s.
You can see many more pieces from Analogue Miniatures on Flickr. (via Strictly Paper)
Portland-based artist and illustrator Song Kang creates highly textural work, whether that’s in her drawn explorations or sculptures produced from found and natural materials. Her miniature works are dream-like environments and houses, many built on backs of animals like oxen and camels. Kang likes to imagine these sculptures as visual scavenger hunts, and often inserts even tinier occupants that sit and stand around her micro-cities.
For her Carved in Stone series, Kang imposes architectural forms onto the surfaces of found rocks. “The structures follow the curvature of the rocks, skewing the perspective and creating surreal environments,” Kang shares. “By becoming part of the surface rather than projecting outwards, the architecture becomes almost textural, a relief sculpture.”
You can see more of Kang’s two and three dimensional work on her Instagram and Behance.