"Tackling Big Issues Through Tiny Works of Art"

I find these thoughts on small works interesting. As I come across them, I want to share them here..............

The following is an excerpt from an article on Artsy.com

"These Artists Are Tackling Big Issues through Tiny Works of Art"
By  Alexxa Gotthardt ~ Nov 30, 2016

“When something so large is brought down to such a tiny, boiled-down, concentrated moment, it’s shocking and fascinating all at once,” Santiago offers. “For me, that’s the impact I want my work to have, and I feel like miniatures do have.” - artist Curtis Talwst Santiago

Santiago is one of a number of contemporary artists working on a very, very small scale. The choice may seem at odds with an art world that, in the past 20-odd years, has seen both the size and price of contemporary art balloon to epic proportions (Jeff Koons’s towering balloon dog and Carsten Höller’s suspended sculptural slide come to mind). But these creatives find they can communicate more effectively by tapping into the age-old allure of small, sometimes downright microscopic forms, which bear a shock value all their own.

Making art on a small scale is by no means a new feat; for centuries, artists have crafted at a pint-size scale to depict and communicate cherished, esteemed, and intimate subjects. As early as the 13th century, Persians used miniscule, intricate brushstrokes to illuminate both secular and religious texts. So detailed are these tiny paintings that at times museums have exhibited them alongside magnifying glasses for visitors to use—a testament to the artists’ small-scale craftsmanship. Elizabethans, during the 1500s, wore miniature portraits of lovers—objects meant to induce “private pleasure”—around their necks. And in the 18th century, the Vatican pioneered the art of the micro-mosaic: jewel-like patchworks, some packing as many as 5,000 pieces of enamelling into a single square inch, that depicted tiny likenesses of celebrated classical sculptures.

Contemporary artists forging small works build on this rich history.

The challenge of creating tiny work, and the concentration and dexterity it requires, is the initial draw for many artists working in miniature. “It was the challenge of figuring out how to miniaturize every step of the process that really drew me in,” explains Jon Almeda, a Tacoma, Washington-based sculptor

The risk that all of these artists take—and take pains to circumvent and manipulate—is that of their work being fetishized, or not taken seriously, for being small.

“The cleverer I am at miniaturizing the world, the better I possess it,” French philosopher Gaston Bachelard wrote in The Poetics of Space (1958), a meditation on the ability of creative output of all kinds to shift our perception of the world. “But in doing this, it must be understood that values become condensed and enriched in miniature.” He, like these artists, understood the conceptual, eye-opening power of smallness.

(note: I did not have permission to use images of the works referred to here.)