Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Teeny Stuff

Structures and sculptures that are tiny in scale are engaging: dioramas, miniatures, dollhouses, models, snow globes, terrariums ... I think it's because of the range of responses they can create in the observer: on one hand, they can draw you in to a new miniature parallel world ... on the other, they can make you feel like an outside entity: completely removed and all-perceiving.

Take the miniature dramatic art of Lori Nix,

Jonah Samson's (Dark and Dirty) Dioramas,

and the amazing works of Walter Martin & Paloma Muñoz. They include tiny islands:

... and snow globes:

When the sculptures / structures also have a tactile component, there is an added bonus of being able to engage both your senses of sight and touch. For example, it's hard to see a snow globe without wanting to pick it up and shake it, or look at this "Room Box" of a bake shop and candy store and not want to hold one of the tiny cakes:

A closer look:

In a lot of ways, the miniature arts are limited only by the imagination.

Make the world's smallest orange,

a terrarium in a mini Tabasco bottle,

a castle inside a lightbulb diorama,

... or decorate your ceiling with a parallel world, like artist Ji Lee: "People decorate their walls and floors, but most of them overlook their ceilings. It's such a waste of vast space. So I started to install miniature parallel worlds on the ceilings."

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