I just need to share this artist because he brings a smile to my face. And if you can’t afford one of his photographs, there’s a little book of his work that is absolutely delightful. Yes, you read that correctly, delightful. As in it will actually make you giggle. Slinkachu is a London-based artist. His “Little People Project” occurs at several levels. Slinkachu repaints and manipulates little figures from model train sets. He then sets them up in miniature scenarios around the city (most often in London, but he has installations in other cities as well). He photographs the figures both close up and then at a bit of a distance. And then he just leaves them there.
Often I am reluctant to read to artists’ verbal explanation for their works. Let the work speak for itself. In the close up photographs, Slinkachu plays with scale so that you are made unaware of how small the figures are. But I love Slinkachu’s description of his project:
“The street-based side of my work plays with the notion of surprise and I aim to encourage city-dwellers to be more aware of their surroundings. The scenes I set up, more evident through the photography, and the titles I give these scenes aim to reflect the loneliness and melancholy of living in a big city, almost being lost and overwhelmed. But underneath this, there is always some humour. I want people to be able to empathise with the tiny people in my works.”
In the close up photographs (like Assault, shown above), Slinkachu plays with scale so that the viewer is made unaware of how small the figures are. Like something out of Alice in Wonderland, the viewer sees the world through the figure’s eyes, and small everyday objects become the setting for clever dramas. The photographs are often both funny and poignant. And they’re beautifully composed. They are enough – beautiful, moving, even heartbreaking – in and of themselves. But Slinkachu’s project also includes a second photograph (Assault, shown below), taken at a distance, which reveals “actual” scale and context for the scene. And finally, the project includes the figures themselves who are left, lost and alone, abandoned, perhaps to be stepped on, and almost certainly to be overlooked.
You can see a more complete selection of Slinkachu’s work on his website. Slinkachu is represented by Andipa Gallery. His work is also available through Studiocromie, Cosh.gallery and exhibitx. He has a fun blog, and sells some merchandise (primarily pins) and a book of his work through the blog.