miniature

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Art Photography

New Miniature Post-Apocalyptic Environments by Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber

February 15, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber (previously) collaboratively produce detailed dioramas caught in the throes of natural or manmade chaos. From 2005 to 2015 the pair created a series titled The City, which imagined the post-apocalyptic interiors of abandoned violin shops, malls, and natural history museums. Empire, a follow-up suite of miniature scenes, serves as a companion to this series by looking at the same imagined future from an exterior point of view.

Nix and Gerber’s new scenes move away from a focus on water-damaged and rusty interiors to explore broad outdoor environments recently devoid of civilization. Scaffolding and bridges crumble as plants begin to poke back through cement cracks, subtle hints that nature has begun to reclaim its land.

Empire presents a world transformed by climate uncertainty and a shifting social order as it stumbles towards a new kind of frontier,” the pair explain in a statement. “These places are eerily beautiful but also unsettling in their stillness and silence. Long ago, man entered the landscape and forced nature to his will. Once grand and emblematic of strength and prosperity, these landscapes now appear abused and in decay, and it is uncertain how they will continue to (d)evolve.”

Each labor intensive model can take up to 7 months to produce, which often means that Nix and Gerber will only finish two photographs a year. The handcrafted dioramas are built from cardboard, foam, and glue—impermanent supplies which are deconstructed and recycled after each shoot.

“I am afraid of what the future holds if we do not change our ways regarding the climate, but I am also fascinated by what a changing world can bring,” Nix told Colossal. “I think this is part of why we make the work we do, to try to reconcile these different attitudes.”

The pair will exhibit images from Empire at their upcoming show at Chicago-based Catherine Edelman Gallery from March 2 to April 28. You can see more of their miniature scenes from both The City and Empire on their Instagram and Facebook.

 

 



Art

Dina Brodsky Chronicles Her Travels in Detailed Miniature Landscape Paintings

February 9, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Painter Dina Brodsky (previously) records travel memories from long distance bicycling trips in small circular oil paintings. Brodsky’s style channels the heightened realism of 19th century landscape painters; whereas the historical paintings were created on enormous canvases that echoed the vast American landscape, Brodsky’s contemporary take condenses the visual impact into a token-sized work that fits in the palm of a hand. The artist describes the intention and scale of her work:

I like to think that the reason my works have gotten so tiny over the years is that painting itself is partially an act of meditation, of being able to hold something still enough in my mind that I can capture an image of it. As it becomes easier to slip into that meditative state, the object I need to concentrate on becomes smaller.

Paintings from this series are on view until March 4th in the show Cycling Guide to Lilliput at Pontone Gallery in London. Brodsky also shares her work on Instagram, and offers prints of select paintings in her Etsy shop. (via Create! Magazine)

 

 



Craft Food

Interactive Culinary Embroideries by Ipnot

January 25, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Japanese embroidery artist ipnot creates pieces of food and drink that seem to leap off of the fabric and into life. Ipnot enhances the realism of her embroideries by staging them with their real-life inspirations and surroundings, like piles of fluffy rice in a bowl, and slices of stollen crumbling off a miniature fork. Ipnot shares on her website that her grandmother’s embroidery practice inspired her to start, and she uses the needle and thread similarly to the painting technique of stippling. You can see more of the artist’s petite embroideries on Instagram. (via Spoon & Tamago)

 

 



Photography

Tatsuya Tanaka Continues Building Tiny Worlds in his Daily Miniature Calendar Photo Project

December 20, 2017

Laura Staugaitis

Since April 2011, art director and photographer Tatsuya Tanaka’s imagination has built a magnificent number of miniature worlds (previously here and here). Through the artist’s clever lens, everyday activities like construction work, walking the dog, getting a parking ticket, and plowing through a blizzard become delight-inducing scenarios. Tanaka also plays with pop culture references, building staple skyscrapers for Godzilla to prowl.

You can see more from Tanaka’s ongoing Miniature Calendar project on Instagram, where he shares his creations each and every day. With over two thousand scenes and counting, he has garnered an impressive followership of a million people. In August, Tanaka also released a book of his work, Small Wonders – Life Portrait in Miniature. (via Tu Recepcja)

 

 



Art History

An Astonishingly Small Stone Carving That Has the Power to Change Art History

November 10, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

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)

 

 



Craft

Nano Origami: Infinitesimal Folded Paper Creations by Anja Markiewicz

October 24, 2017

Christopher Jobson

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.

 

 



Craft Design

Miniature Paper Plants by Raya Sader Bujana

October 5, 2017

Christopher Jobson

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.