In keeping with the street art/strange art theme I’ve been drawn to lately, I came across an English artist with the aka of Slinkachu, whose work kind of overlaps that of another British artist I previously wrote about, Ben Wilson, in its idiosyncrasy. Slinkachu (actually a blog title, as the former art director doesn’t like to reveal his real name) modifies tiny human figures taken from model-train sets and places many of them in unexpected settings, and, as with Wilson, turns your notions of the most mundane realities upside down.
Easily overlooked (and designed that way), the transient tableaus are usually destroyed by the elements (or unknowingly stomped upon), though some are absconded with by passersby…if they see them, that is. (Photographed close up, the miniaturist “installations” look like worlds unto themselves; viewed from afar, they’re as insignificant as ants on a molehill. Most of the figures are no larger than two inches.) Imagination is definitely on display in the pieces shown here, of which I find difficult to pick a favorite. The island made out of an abandoned tennis ball? The skateboarder inside an orange peel? Rowing in spilt milk?
Unconventionally creative, Slinkachu’s mini-portrayals have dotted the landscapes of several cities in Europe, and harbor an almost existentialist sentiment, according to the artist. “The feeling of being ignored and overlooked, of feeling small, is a universal one,” he told the UK’s Observer last year. “It is as easy for us to fall through cracks in the pavement in a big city as it is for the ‘little people’.”
For now, photographs of the now-you-see-’em-now-you-don’t creations appear in an exhibition titled Material Matters at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London through July of next year.