The World’s Smallest Art

Posted by on May 5, 2016 in Famous Artists, Fine Art | No Comments
The World’s Smallest  Art

small art

While much of the most famous works of art catch our attention due to their grandiosity, Willard Wigan, Jonty Hurwitz, and Slinkache are here to paint a different picture– one that may require a microscope to see.

 

Willard Wigan

An English sculptor, Willard Wigan creates art that is so tiny, it fits in the eye of a needle or on the head of a pin. To craft these sculptures, Wigan invents his own tools, creating a paintbrush from a fly’s hair or his ex-girlfriend’s eyelashes.

willard wiganWillard Wigan. Image Source: The Telegraph.

In order to achieve such precision, Wigan works during the night when the world is at its quietest.  The artist also enters into a meditative state of being, slowing his heartbeat, in order to maintain an incredibly steady hand. Wigan is acutely aware of his body while he works, sculpting in between pulsations of his heart.

Wigan’s interest in tiny objects grew from feelings of isolation and loneliness that overwhelmed his childhood. As an undiagnosed dyslexic child, Wigan received harsh criticism from his teachers, leading him to retreat to a nearby shed, where he began to take special notice of the ants. “I started making houses for ants because I thought they needed somewhere to live. Then I made shoes and hats. It was a fantasy world that I escaped to,” describes Wigan. His fascination with ants and the micro-world that surrounded them led Wigan into greater experimentation with micro-sculptures, developing into a successful career.

willard-wigan- 2Willard Wigan. Image Source: Amusing Planet.

The work of Wigan has attracted significant attention. He has been honored by Queen Elizabeth II, where he received an MBE for his services to art. Exhibitions of Wigan’s work have taken place across the world. Owners of his work include Prince Charles, Sir Elton John, Lord Bath, Sir Philip Green, Simon Cowell, and Mike Tyson.

willard-wigan- 1Willard Wigan. Image Source: Amusing Planet.

For more information of Willard Wigan, check out his inspiration TED Talk, “Hold Your Breath for Micro-sculpture.”

 

Jonty Hurwitz

Jonty Hurwitz creates nanosculptures that cannot be seen by the human eye alone; rather, they can only be seen through the screen of an electron microscope. Trust by Hurwitz is the smallest artwork to be created by a human: it measures 80 x 100 x 20 microns (a micron is 0.00004 inches). Like Willard Wigan, Trust is also place in the eye of a needle, or even on a single strand of hair.

jonty hurwitz 1Jonty Hurwitz, Trust. Image Source: The Guardian.

Hurwitz bases the sculptures off a photographs he takes in order to create the most realistic depiction possible. After the photographs are captured, Hurwitz works with a team of nanotechnology engineers at Karlsruhe University, incorporating a 3D printing technique to create the tiny sculpture. One 3D pixel at a time, a beam of ultraviolet light solidifies liquid resin into the sculpture. Next, Hurwitz uses multiphoton lithographic process to carve out the more intricate details of the body.

jonty hurwitz 2Jonty Hurwitz, Trust. Image Source: The Guardian.

Hurwitz has also created a nanosculpture inspired by Antonio Canova’s Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss. Hurwitz’ unique creations blend art and technology, while leading you to question the visible reality that surrounds you.  Hurwitz states, “Can you be sure of its existence if your basic senses are telling you that nothing is there? The line between myth and science is fine. To celebrate this, I have based these sculptures on the beautiful myth of Cupid and Psyche.”

jonty hurwitz 3Jonty Hurwitz, Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss. Image Source: The Guardian.

jonty hurwitz 4Jonty Hurwitz, Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss. Image Source: The Guardian.

Slinkachu

Slinkachu is an installation and street artist that has been “abandoning little people on the streets since 2006.” His artwork is giant in comparison to Wigan and Hurwitz; however, it still requires a keen attention to detail.

Slinkachu began making street installations in 2006 when he was looking to find a creative outlet outside of his day job. Intrigued by urban art, Slinkachu aimed to interact with the city but in a manner different than graffiti. He began by leaving miniature train sets around London for the citydwellers to discover.

slinkachu1Image Source: Slinkachu.

Continuing to use model train sets, Slinkachu remodels and paints each one to customize figures into the story he wishes to tell. Slinkachu often focuses on the theme of isolation. By placing tiny figures in a big city, the artist emphasizes feelings of being overwhelmed and lost. The miniature arrangements are abandoned in the urban setting, as if it fend for themselves.  Despite the underlying ideas of despair, Slinkachu’s work is humorous and playful, designed to bring a smiler to a viewer’s face.

slinkachu2Image Source: Slinkachu.

In line with the themes of alienation and loneliness, Slinkachu’s identity remains ambiguous. After photographing his installations, Slinkachu leaves his work in the streets, placing the fate of the art in the hands of the public.

slinkachu3Image Source: Slinkachu.

Whether inspired by childhood experiences, the pursuit of science, or the eagerness to engage with the public, each of these artists have found a unique method of creating art that is barely visible to human discernment, demonstrating that great art is not necessarily found in monumental proportions.