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Joshua Smith Serves Up Slices of Main Street in Meticulously Detailed Miniature Buildings
December 13, 2023
Wheatpasted posters, spraypainted tags, and signs with missing letters are just a few of the hyperrealistic details on the facades of Joshua Smith’s extraordinary miniatures. “My work focuses on often neglected and abandoned buildings, which more often than not are covered in graffiti, rust, and grime,” the Adelaide, South Australia-based artist tells Colossal. Rendering corner stores, photo booths, and anonymous entryways with precision, he adds layers of lifelike details both inside and out, from stacks of boxes to checkout counters to racks of merchandise.
For his source imagery, Smith draws from visits around the U.S. and abroad, plus images he finds on Google Street View. Thanks to a popular Instagram account, if he can’t get to a particular location in person, sometimes his followers help out by visiting specific sites and snapping photos for reference. “I then break it down into different components, such as walls, windows, the ground, and other details,” he says. “Once the basic shape of the building has been made, I then apply the paint, signage, graffiti, and finally the weathering.” Using a variety of techniques, from 3D modeling to scratch-building with styrene, he creates every element himself.
Smith recently co-curated the group exhibition Miniature Worlds at the Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery in Launceston, Tasmania, which continues through February 4. He will also exhibit as part of a group show next year with Outré Gallery in Melbourne, emphasizing signage and type. Small sculptures and accessories are often available in the artist’s online shop.
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