Miniature (inspiration)

I've been fascinated by the miniature since I was a young artist. There's something so powerful about making our world small. I highly recommend a visit to the Thorne Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago. And for a really interesting read, On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection, by Susan Stewart. Even if you're not as committed to this inspiration as I am, I think you'll find the approaches to the subject below are pretty awesome. 

It's as if Ashley Curry is making this work specifically for me. I love every bit of it. She creates these miniature worlds by hand, with really great details. Ones like the outlet on this wall and look at those charming tiny wire hangers. She then photographs them. Curry sells archival prints of here work here.

It's as if Ashley Curry is making this work specifically for me. I love every bit of it. She creates these miniature worlds by hand, with really great details. Ones like the outlet on this wall and look at those charming tiny wire hangers. She then photographs them. Curry sells archival prints of here work here.

Create your own growing miniature villages with these brilliant little planters. 

Create your own growing miniature villages with these brilliant little planters

Here's a new take on the theme: Artist Heather Benning took an abandoned farm house in the Canadian prairies and transformed it into a life sized dollhouse. 

Here's a new take on the theme: Artist Heather Benning took an abandoned farm house in the Canadian prairies and transformed it into a life sized dollhouse. 

When it was deemed unsafe, it was destroyed by fire. She managed to capture these poetic images of the structure burning down. 

When it was deemed unsafe, it was destroyed by fire. She managed to capture these poetic images of the structure burning down. 

Maico Akiba creates miniature worlds living on the backs of fantastic creatures. Find a full post about the work here. 

Maico Akiba creates miniature worlds living on the backs of fantastic creatures. Find a full post about the work here

Abigail Goldman "Dieorama"

Abigail Goldman "Dieorama"

At first glance, Abigail Goldman's dioramas are sweet. Look closer and you'll see why she has renamed them Die-oramas. After a career in forensics, she's found a way to create miniature worlds depicting some horrific crimes. But they can only seem SO horrific when they are so small and made with such innocent materials.  As stated by her gallery, "Mixing the charming with the grotesque, and exploiting the tension between the two, the new format tableau dieoramas are the collective anger, encapsulated in a place so dark, it becomes light again."

At first glance, Abigail Goldman's dioramas are sweet. Look closer and you'll see why she has renamed them Die-oramas. After a career in forensics, she's found a way to create miniature worlds depicting some horrific crimes. But they can only seem SO horrific when they are so small and made with such innocent materials.  As stated by her gallery, "Mixing the charming with the grotesque, and exploiting the tension between the two, the new format tableau dieoramas are the collective anger, encapsulated in a place so dark, it becomes light again."

Chicago based artist, Garth Borovicka, makes these beautiful "bookends of the Earth". One of these days, I need to own the "ice flow" version. (top) Handmade in Chicago, check them out here.

Chicago based artist, Garth Borovicka, makes these beautiful "bookends of the Earth". One of these days, I need to own the "ice flow" version. (top) Handmade in Chicago, check them out here.

sweater weather (inspiration)

Like it or not, it's coming. Get excited about sweater weather with these super quirky knit designs. A fun mix of art, fashion and furniture design. 

La Casita de Wendy went a little overboard on this, er...I think it's a scarf? Love it. Super quirky fun. more here

La Casita de Wendy went a little overboard on this, er...I think it's a scarf? Love it. Super quirky fun. more here

Fall 2014 collection Alessandra Lucioni. Seriously, if there's another Polar Vortex this winter, you might see me walking around Chicago in this outfit. 

Fall 2014 collection Alessandra Lucioni. Seriously, if there's another Polar Vortex this winter, you might see me walking around Chicago in this outfit. 

If you like this, (and how could you not?) you are going to want to check out more work by artist Nick Cave

If you like this, (and how could you not?) you are going to want to check out more work by artist Nick Cave

Hannah Haworth made these sled dogs titled, The Hunt,  with sweater knit techniques. awesome. so awesome that it has inspired many a copy-cat diys on pinterest.

Hannah Haworth made these sled dogs titled, The Hunt,  with sweater knit techniques. awesome. so awesome that it has inspired many a copy-cat diys on pinterest.

It looks pretty nice to lounge around on these knit modular pieces. Available here for a pretty penny.

It looks pretty nice to lounge around on these knit modular pieces. Available here for a pretty penny.

I would take one of these poufs from GAN rugs.

I would take one of these poufs from GAN rugs.

And definitely a few of these mini sweater rugs. Again by GAN rugs.

And definitely a few of these mini sweater rugs. Again by GAN rugs.

Outdoor installation by Orla Genger. If it looks familiar, that's because I've featured her mesmerizing work before, here.

Outdoor installation by Orla Genger. If it looks familiar, that's because I've featured her mesmerizing work before, here.

rebel rugs (inspiration)

I had the pleasure of viewing the Magritte show at the Art Institute of Chicago this weekend, which I highly recommend. Now, the works below are not surrealism, but I like viewing them with this 1938 quote from Rene Magritte in mind.

To show everyday objects in situations in which we never encounter them…to disrupt the order in which one habitually sees objects…to make them shriek aloud.

It's been a while since a piece of art made with everyday objects felt this fresh. I've seen a lot of everyday object art. Made a lot of it myself in both undergrad and graduate school. These rugs made up of everything from cocktail umbrellas to fireworks are totally dreamy. In addition to this work by "We make Carpets", there's been a lot of inspirational work with rugs. I've included some favorites below.

Installation view of a 5 year review of Dutch trio, We Make Carpets. From a distance, you see traditional pattern making, up close you'll be confronted by a critical view of consumer society. It's pretty great to be allured by the beauty and then quietly chastised by the message. 

Installation view of a 5 year review of Dutch trio, We Make Carpets. From a distance, you see traditional pattern making, up close you'll be confronted by a critical view of consumer society. It's pretty great to be allured by the beauty and then quietly chastised by the message. 

cocktail umbrellas

cocktail umbrellas

fireworks, spoons, styrofoam containers, clothes pins...

fireworks, spoons, styrofoam containers, clothes pins...

crayons

crayons

I've written about Faig Ahmed once before here. This piece is my favorite of his so far. 

I've written about Faig Ahmed once before here. This piece is my favorite of his so far. 

Sand. It's SAND. The artist,  Daniëlle van Ark, spent 5 weeks in residency creating these intricate sand patterns on the floor and when the exhibition was over - poof - is if they were never there. The subdued color palette lends to the ghostly effect. Good stuff. 

Sand. It's SAND. The artist,  Daniëlle van Ark, spent 5 weeks in residency creating these intricate sand patterns on the floor and when the exhibition was over - poof - is if they were never there. The subdued color palette lends to the ghostly effect. Good stuff. 

i just love this image from this ad campaign for Swedish Design Studio Oyyo. I think Magritte would like it too. 

i just love this image from this ad campaign for Swedish Design Studio Oyyo. I think Magritte would like it too.