Postcards for Ants is an ongoing painting project by Cape Town artist Lorraine Loots who has been creating a miniature painting every single day since January 1, 2013. The artist works with paint brushes, pencils, and bare eyes to render superbly detailed paintings scarcely larger than a small coin. After the first year, Loots relaunched the project in a second phase inspired by Cape Town’s designation as World Design Capital 2014. On her website you can “reserve” a future painting (it’s all booked up for this year), and she’s also printed five limited edition postcards for each day. You can watch her work and hear a bit more about her inspiration in the video below by Gareth Pon, and she also regularly updates on Facebook. Hopefully we’ll see a 2015 project? (via Lustik)
Created by artist Maico Akiba, these lumbering toy mammals, dinosaurs, and reptiles carry the burden of miniature worlds that seem to have sprouted from their backs. Akiba uses model making materials commonly used for train sets to build each scene which appear post-apocalyptic in nature. Johnny at Spoon & Tamago keenly observes that, in a way, they resemble a reverse Noah’s Ark. The project is titled SEKAI (Japanese for “world”), and you can see more here. (via Spoon & Tamago)
Artist Isaac Cordal (previously) is well-known for his creation and placement of miniature cement figures in public places around the world as part of an ongoing series called Cement Eclipses. While the meaning behind each tiny sculpture is intentionally ambiguous, it’s impossible to look at each piece without imagining a story. The pieces often appear in scenes of mourning or despair, as part of what Cordal says is commentary on humankind’s disregard for nature and as foreshadowing of potential consequences. From his artist statement:
Isaac Cordal is sympathetic toward his little people and you can empathize with their situations, their leisure time, their waiting for buses and even their more tragic moments such as accidental death, suicide or family funerals. The sculptures can be found in gutters, on top of buildings, on top of bus shelters; in many unusual and unlikely places.
From onion peels to kiwi seeds or even bits of chocolate, it seems any canvas is sufficient for Turkish artist Hasan Kale (previously) as long as it meets the requirement of being incredibly tiny. Hasan delights in the challenge of depicting landscapes of his native Istanbul in the most infinitesimal of brush strokes, a feat that requires the use of a magnifying glass to appreciate the details of each piece. While the longevity of each object he paints is questionable, the steadiness of his hand is impressive to witness. See much more over on Facebook. (via Illusion)
What happens when you apply of love of small things to an art form that’s already all about small things? In recent years Bonsai—Japan’s art form of growing miniature trees in miniature planters—has undergone a miniaturization trend. Industry experts consider bonsai plants less than 3 cm (about 1 inch) to be particularly difficult, but artists have taken on the challenge, creating tiny plants and tiny planters that, literally, are at your fingertips. It’s given rise to a new category, known as cho-mini bonsai, or ultra-small bonsai.
It’s no secret that the Japanese excel at making things smaller, whether it’s automobiles, electronics or food. In fact, Japan’s love of small things can be found in literature dating back over a 1,000 years. When it comes to the land of the rising sun, it’s clear that beauty comes in small packages. (via Archie McPhee, RocketNews24)
Against a tasty backdrop of pastries, fruit, and vegetables, photographers Pierre Javelle and Akiko Ida have created a series of humorous dioramas that depict miniature people going about their daily lives in an edible world. Titled MINIMIAM, a play on words that marries miniature and “yummy” (miam in French), the project has been ongoing since 2002 and was inspired by the married couple’s profession as commercial food photographers. “We’re both food photographer in our daily work, and we’re both quite crazy about cooking, eating and everything about food,” says Ida. “So when we started this small people series, naturally we created the stories related to the food.”
The figures acquired for each photograph are taken from train model sets which are generally 1/87 scale, the perfect size for exploring lands of donuts or a frothy mix of meringue turned into a winter sledding adventure. The body of work has now grown to include some 60 sets of diptychs, and the pair is also creating large scale installations that more directly connect the model train world with sprawling food dioramas. You can see much more of their work over at MINIMIAM, or view it up close at the International Agriculture Show in Paris in February. (via Raw File)
Over his long career of making and building, self-taught photographer Michael Paul Smith has at times referred to himself as a text book illustrator, a wallpaper hanger and house painter, a museum display designer, an architectural model maker, and art director. All of these skills have culminated in the amazing ability to shoot forced perspective outdoor scenes using his extensive diecast model car collection. Something he calls his “quirky hobby.”
For nearly 25 years Smith has been working on a fictional town he refers to as Elgin Park where all of his miniature scenes take place. To make each shot he positions an old card table at scenic points around Boston and positions his minutely detailed cars and model sets on top. Using an inexpensive point-and-shoot camera and natural light he then snaps away, simply eye-balling the perspective to get everything right.