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Art

Miniature Figures Ski and Swim Through Mixed-Media Paintings by Golsa Golchini

January 4, 2020

Andrew LaSane

Images © Golsa Golchini, shared with permission

Iranian mixed-media artist Golsa Golchini combines impasto and digital painting techniques to create miniature worlds of water and ice. Textured mounds of acrylic paint form three-dimensional waves and slopes. Digital paintings of tiny figures are added to the abstract landscapes via ink transfers, with additional details applied by hand. The paintings are simple by design because that is what the artist says the world needs right now.

Shadows added beneath the flat transfers, as well as the natural shadows on the raised paint, give the illusion that the swimmers and skiers physically are entering Golchini’s isolated environments. The limited color palette and similar character poses give the body of work a fun, unifying theme. “My artworks are my way of communicating with the observer about the things of everyday life that we all have in common,” Golchini said in a statement. “Although the artworks are simple, they are usually expressing challenging situations.”

Some of Golchini’s paintings are available online via Return on Art, or you can follow and contact her directly on Instagram. If you enjoyed Golchini’s creations, also check out Taylor Cox.

 

 



Craft

Miniscule Paper Plants Nestle in Intricately Woven Baskets by Raya Sader Bujana

December 23, 2019

Grace Ebert

All images © Raya Sader Bujana, shared with permission

Barcelona-based artist Raya Sader Bujana (previously) painstakingly cuts and scores tiny paper monsteras, ficuses, and philodendron that stand just a few inches tall. The life-like plants feature wrapped brown stalks and green leaves that are no bigger than a finger. Often sitting in miraculous hand-woven baskets, each plant takes between five and six weeks to complete. The artist tells Colossal that each project starts with a vague idea and evolves along the way.  “I like applying techniques from other artistic disciplines or crafts, such as weaving or basketry and translating them to paper,” Bujana writes. These pieces are part of Tiny Big Paper House Plants, a series she began in 2017. Many of Bujana’s miniature creations can be found on Instagram and are available for purchase on Etsy.

 

 



Animation Food

Felted Bacon Sizzles and Wooly Bread is Sliced in Breakfast-Themed Fiber Animations by Andrea Love

December 4, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

 

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We’ve all heard that we should incorporate more fiber into our diets. But did our doctors mean… wool? Andrea Love is on the front lines of nutritionally dense animation with her fiber-based short films centered around breakfast foods. Minuscule pots of coffee pour into green mugs, spirals of yarn turn from black to red as stove-top heating elements, and succulent lemons squirt out felted juice when squeezed. The Washington-based artist works from her basement studio crafting both client-commissioned and personal work. Watch more of Love’s felt-fueled animations on Instagram, where she generously shares behind-the-scenes knowledge in responses to questions from her 100,000+ followers. (via Laughing Squid)

 

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Art

A Subversive Village of Urban Miniatures Covered in Graffiti and Tiny Murals

November 23, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Antony H Haylock, 2019. Images courtesy of Emily Paxton

Photographer Emily Paxton and artist Pam Glew of PaxtonGlew have curated an exhibition of tiny houses, stores, and train cars that is unlike your typical model village. Instead of pristine new buildings, each model is hand-painted with graffiti and colorful murals. Together the miniatures form a well-worn city from the collective imagination of over 40 urban contemporary artists from around the world.

Titled Urban Miniatures, the pop-up opened on November 23, 2019 as a part of the Artists Open Houses Christmas Festival in Brighton, England. The roster of artists tapped to contribute include train-writers, muralists, designers, and painters, most of whom typically work at a much larger scale. From an optical illusion mural painted on a mini hotel by Peeta (previously), to architectural jewelry by Tiny Scenic, the scale of each piece in the exhibition forces the viewer to look more closely and appreciate the details. That level of intimacy is not always possible when a piece is ten stories tall or speeding down a track.

For those able to visit Brighton, Urban Miniatures is scheduled to run through December 22, 2019. The curators are also offering miniature-themed workshops for those who visit the gallery space. Limited edition prints, models, and other art gifts are also available via their online store. For more information, follow @paxtonglew on Instagram.

DONK, 2019

Peeta, 2019

Ange Bell, 2019

Remi Rough, 2019

Tiny Scenic, 2019

Tiny Scenic, 2019

Eelus, 2019

Mark McClure, 2019

Shuby, 2019

 

 



Design History

A Miniature Magazine Penned by Teenage Charlotte Brontë is (Finally) Acquired by the Famous Author’s Namesake Museum

November 21, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

It’s often said that even the most successful people start small. What they probably don’t mean, though, is that to become an author equal to the timeless stature of Charlotte Brontë, you should pen a miniature magazine first. Yet Brontë did just that: in 1830, at age fourteen, she hand-wrote six issues of a petite periodical, one of which recently came up at auction for $777,000. The Young Men’s Magazine was a matchbook-sized series including stories and even advertisements of Brontë’s devising.

The Brontë Society placed the winning bid to acquire Brontë’s magazine, wresting it back from the Museum of Letters and Manuscripts, a now-shuttered for-profit (and fraud-ridden) venture that nabbed it in 2011. Learn more about the history and significance of The Young Men’s Magazine in the video below, which features Ann Dinsdale, the curator of the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, England.

 

 



Art

Architectural Miniatures by Mohamad Hafez Promote Meaningful Dialogue About Conflict in Syria

October 27, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Framed Nostalgia (2019), 31 x 37 x 10 inches. Images courtesy of the artist

Connecticut-based Syrian-born artist Mohamad Hafez (previously) uses found objects, paint, and scrap metal to create architectural dioramas of Middle Eastern urban environments. The photorealistic miniatures are packed with detail and speak to the political and social issues plaguing the artist’s war-torn homeland.

An architect by trade, Hafez imagines and builds cross-sections of streets and structures covered in grime and graffiti. Situated within suitcases and picture frames, the wall-mounted pieces are meant to be viewed and considered up close. Exposed rusty pipes, rubble, and weathered doorways of the crumbling nation are contrasted by hopeful verses from the Quran. The streetscapes, according to statement on the artist’s website, combine Hafez’s interests in street art and activism. While feeling helpless to bring about meaningful changes in Syria, his intention with the dioramas is to “expose the Middle East’s conflicts to the world in a modest, artistic approach to appeal to a wider contemporary audience.”

Harold J. Miossi Art Gallery at Cuesta College is currently hosting a Retrospective exhibition of Hafez’s work through December 20, 2019. His miniatures can also be seen at The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago as their first “interpreter-in-residence.” To dive deeper into Hafez’s miniature worlds, follow the artist on Instagram.

Framed Nostalgia 1 (2019) (detail)

Framed Nostalgia 1 (2019), detail


WWII Box (from the Baggage Series, detail

Framed Nostalgia 2 (2019), 31 x 37 x 10 inches.

Hiraeth, 61 x 35 x 21 inches.

Hiraeth, detail.

Unsettled Nostalgia. 12 x 60 x 8 inches

Unsettled Nostalgia, detail.

 

 



Photography

Miniature Houses Become Life-Size Desert Dwellings in Samy Al Olabi’s Imaginative Photographs

October 3, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Real and imagined worlds come together in photographer Samy Al Olabi’s nighttime landscapes. Miniature structures like log cabins, light houses, and abandoned ships are set against a backdrop of the United Arab Emirates desert with distant galaxies glimmering in the night sky. Olabi’s lifelong interest in astronomy inspired his professional affinity for astrophotography, along with a sense of wonder and play. The photographer, who is based in Dubai, sets out with an equipment-packed SUV to camp out and shoot his fanciful images on-site. By stitching together multiple photos to get the correct blend of lighting and focus—which he explains in detail on PetaPixel—Olabi’s final images create new visual narratives. See more of the artist’s work on Instagram and Facebook. (via PetaPixel)