Artists Working in Miniature

I did say I wanted to look at other interesting miniature work apart from my own.
I've become aware of quite a number of actual artists who have taken to working with miniature figures. I don't know whether you'd call it 'trendy', exactly, but the idea has come to be taken seriously in recent times, more or less. Here's a piece by someone who calls himself Slinkachu.

I urge you to have a look at this and other works on show at , from which there are links to other sites and pages. A lot of his pieces make a Banksy-style point; there's another picture showing this in a wider shot, with the Bank of England in the background. Other works are simply whimsical, his thing is typically to make use of street furniture and it's often clever. Also, he says he often leaves his installations in place, and it interests him sometimes to go and have a look at them later on, curious to see how much is left of them. Even pieces left in prominent positions aren't as depredated as you'd think. I could be wrong, but the figures seem to me to be from Preiser, who are famed for their huge range for model railways, in many scales, though mostly 1:87 which equates to HO, standard for European layouts. Slinkachu's figures certainly appear to be 1:87.

It's sort of amusing to me to see this happening. I can't be the only modeller who thought of this use of miniature figures pretty quickly after taking up scale modelling as a boy. And now you can call it art! Really, you're doing it albeit in an unthinking way, as soon as you organise a war with little soldiers across the terrain of the living room floor and its furniture. I think I first noticed it in the art world in the work of Jake and Dinos Chapman, who use military figures liberally in such pieces as Hell, and most of their work features the use of figure sculptures, sometimes miniature, sometimes mannequins. You'd think I'd be a fan, but after a while I came to the conclusion that occasionally tasteless is just tasteless. Like most of the so-called YBAs (Young British Artists) they have indulged in a lot of manipulative provocation in the media. Well, I'm very glad for them and their bank balances. They've been nominated for the Turner Prize, you know. You can Google them if you want. I'd much rather you checked out the work of Banksy who has himself made some use of miniatures.

Anyway, here's another piece, which I saw in Kiasma art gallery in Helsinki last year. This is only one part of a work which made use of various bottles and containers of cosmetics. Sorry, I can't recall the name of the artist but it was unsurprisingly a she. This was the only element which included a figure, very effectively in my view, particularly because the figure was so small that you were compelled to look closely to realise what you were seeing. It's very small. The figure may be crafted, or converted from a Preiser N scale (1:160) or even Z scale (1:220) figure. I can't tell, I don't have a powder compact to do comparisons with!


  1. Not sure its quite the same but I remember this and many others by Malcolm Poynter in the amazing Treadwell Gallery in deepest Kent. The smell of plastic was overpowering

  2. Yes, the miniature figures are definitely relevant to the work. Might look that up on my next visit to Kent.


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