The Pylos Combat Agate, an intricately carved 3,500-year-old sealstone discovered in a the tomb of a Greek warrior. All images courtesy of The Department of Classics, University of Cincinnati
More than two years ago researchers from the University of Cincinnati unearthed a 3,500-year-old tomb in the southwest of Greece. The tomb belonged to a Bronze Age warrior nicknamed the “Griffin Warrior,” and contained many treasures, such as four gold signet rings, that have challenged previous notions about the origins of Greek civilization.
Perhaps one of the most important and visually captivating finds from the tomb occurred a full year after its discovery. Researchers uncovered a carved sealstone no larger than an inch and a half wide. The “Pylos Combat Agate” meticulously displays two warriors engaged in battle with bodies strewn at their feet, with some details less than a millimeter wide. The carving is perhaps most astonishing because it predates artistic skills that were not associated with Greek civilization for another millennium.
“What is fascinating is that the representation of the human body is at a level of detail and musculature that one doesn’t find again until the classical period of Greek art 1,000 years later,” said Jack Davis, Carl W. Blegen professor of Greek archaeology at the University of Cincinnati in UC Magazine. “It’s a spectacular find.”
In a testament to the anonymous artist’s skills, it’s also worthy to note that magnifying glasses were not believed to be used for another thousand years. This ability and sophistication shows that the inhabitants of the area were creating art with an interest and knowledge of representational art not previously imagined. This new discovery, explained Davis and fellow dig leader Shari Stocker, is a catalyst to completely reevaluate the timeline and development of Greek art.
You can read more about the miniature carving and the Griffin Warrior’s tomb in UC Magazine. (via Neatorama and The History Blog)
Leipzig-based paper artist Anja Markiewicz uses little more than tip of a toothpick (she doesn’t even use a magnifying glass) to make the tiny creases in her miniature origami creations including animals, insects, and geometric designs. Collected here a number of pieces from the last few years, and you can find more in this gallery and in her online shop.
Paper artist Raya Sader Bujana (previously) has been producing a new series of tiny paper flowers and cacti encased by miniature glass terrariums, each measuring only 4cm high. You can see more on Instagram and a few are available in her Etsy Shop.
Using the nom de guerre Miguel Marquez Outside, Michael Pederson (previously here and here) tucks art installations in unexpected locations around Sydney. The artist’s plaques, signs, and miniature architecture tend to center around ideas of escape, isolation, and our relationship to social norms. But he approaches these heavy subjects with a a sense of humor and brings a lighthearted pseudohistory to various structures and spaces. And if Pederson’s shovel piece, shown below, has you wondering, you can use this site to find out what location is on the opposite side of the world from you. See more of the artist’s work on Instagram.
Christmas in Durban, 2017
Canadian-Trinidadian artist Curtis Talwst Santiago (previously) imbues vintage jewelry boxes with both bucolic moments and scenes of societal disaster in a collection of work titled Infinity Series. For many, the lid of the box serves as a backdrop for the particular environment, while the bottom serves as a stage filled with miniature figurines and elements of water presented as beach scenes and oceanic voyages.
In his work Deluge Santiago displays a cramped boat transporting dozens of refugees, while in another titled Por que?, he presents a scene of police brutality in a purple velvet-lined box. Each of the small works capture a narrative moment of enormous magnitude, encasing the story in a protected vessel meant to be passed on and displayed.
Santiago’s work is part of the group exhibition Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon opening September 27 at the New Museum in New York City and running through January 21, 2018.
Gaia III, 2017
Nanganesey Creek With Deer, 2016
After Tom After Kim After Acid, 2013
Por que? * With light on, 2015
Olukun (Venus), 2017
Tucked under tunnels and nestled in public parks are several miniature doors, tiny installations built with stoops, welcome mats, and even tinier dog doors. The Atlanta-based works are part of artist Karen Anderson’s Tiny Doors ATL, an art project that aims to bring a bit of curiosity and wonder to the city’s inhabitants.
The project began in the summer of 2014, and since its launch has installed 12 six-inch doors throughout Atlanta. To keep with Tiny Doors ATL’s mission of being dedicated to free and accessible art, a digital map found on the project’s website serves as a guide to each door’s location.
For each new door Anderson hosts a miniature ribbon-cutting ceremony, a way to present the work to the public, while also connecting community members and fans of the miniature works. “I love the potential for art to build community,” Anderson told Instagram’s blog. “And I especially love how impactful that art can be when it’s free, public and accessible to everyone.”
To see more images of Tiny Doors ATL’s public installations, and keep up-to-date with upcoming openings, take a look at the group’s Instagram and Facebook. (via Instagram)
Dutch artist Vera van Wolferen (previously here and here) imagines new designs for homes on-the-go, producing miniature balsa wood models of tiny houses that teeter on the top of sedans or contain wheels to propel themselves on the road. The sculptures, which she refers to as Story Objects, are intended to allude to narratives, and are often built with the addition of cotton to serve as clouds or tiny puffs of chimney smoke. The rest of the miniature house is left as minimal as possible, van Wolferen focusing on the architecture of the object rather than a complicated color scheme.
You can see a 360 degree video for a piece she’s titled Jeep Safari for the Cultural Anthropologist in the video below, and view more of her miniature homes on her Instagram, Facebook and Behance.