Debuting 17 new staged images on both paper and aluminum, as well as his largest sculptural work to date, London-based artist Slinkachu continues his clever portrayal of miniature figurines captured in humorous scenes. His latest exhibition, “Miniaturesque,” opens today 13 March 2015 at Andipa Gallery in London and shows strong thematic developments from the artist, who captured our attention with his 2012 book Global Model Village. All of the work within “Miniaturesque” contemplates the role of nature within a city, or in opposition to urban environments where it has been planted.
With his images, featuring one-inch figures placed in curious settings, the artist presents a dual reality. His whimisical close-up images convey scenes of humor, peace and even majesty. However, each image is paired with a perspective-changing context shot. There, it becomes visible his staging is only a small part of a much larger, far more real universe. As for his sculpture, over 200 miniature figures have been utilized in an epic recreation of a scene upon the River Thames.
As for his inspiration with this series, the artist shares with CH that, “I was inspired by nature as well as landscape paintings of the past. I was interested in how we as urbanites interact with the natural world and how the nature around us in a city is so planned and controlled. I wanted to find hidden pockets of nature around Londonsuch as a weed or carpet of mossand turn those things into miniature landscapes.” Each of his micro-scapes does convey a sense of intimacy held with the natural world, only to be disrupted by its companion image.
“Humor is really important to my work,” he continues “I think it is a great way to get people to connect with what they are seeing and then slip in other messages surreptitiously. I try to find ‘truths’ to use in my work. On the surface the installations might seem fantastical, but they are all routes in real life. I remember once a friend looking at one of my pieces: an installation of children playing in a puddle with cigarette butts as lilos. At first she laughed but then started to well up as she said to me, ‘Oh god, I am bringing up my kids in London, they’ll never swim in the sea!’ She was pregnant at the time so perhaps she was more emotional!”
The artist makes clear his hopes for what viewers leave thinking about: “I hope they take away more of an appreciation for their surroundings and perhaps try to look for beauty where they might not have looked before.” Altogether, it’s a meaningful exhibition with a message discreetly carried by whimsy.
“Miniaturesque” runs from 13 March through 11 April 2015 at Andipa Gallery, 162 Walton Street, London SW3 2JL.
Images courtesy of Slinkachu