It is no secret that everyone today is busier, more stressed and exposed to more information than ever before. With so much going on it is all too easy to get wrapped up in our own thoughts without giving any consideration to those around us. We tend to avoid eye contact with others, have our headphones firmly in place and spend too much time in our own heads to truly engage with our environments. London-based artist Slinkachu is seeking to disrupt this thinking by delighting passersby with diminutive scenes left in unexpected locales. From dunking basketball players and magic carpet riders to hanged men and lonely brides, Slinkachu’s tableaus show off the many faces of the human condition. The quick-witted artist has been doing some traveling recently, and is celebrating with a book and two solo exhibitions, collectively titled “Global Model Village.”
Many will know Slinkachu from “Little People,” the blog that has acted as home to the artist’s work since 2006. What began as an anonymous project has turned into an instantly recognizable cult phenomenon, and “Slink” now finds himself attracting crowds in Berlin when he goes to erect and photograph a scene. Many of the themes of the installations are universal with Slink making a conscious effort to craft the figures to fit their environment. For instance, an installation in Stuttgart featured a miniature version of the ubiquitous German wurst stall, but in this instance passing off rat droppings as sausages. In Cape Town, South Africa, Slink visited a township called Khayelitsha which has a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS and many people in poverty find access to medicine difficult. In this case, he placed a tiny mother and child, the woman carrying ‘giant’ retroviral drugs on her head. In conjunction with the exhibitions, a print of “Balancing Act” will being sold through galleries with proceeds going to benefit the AIDS/HIV effort in Cape Town’s Khayelitsha township.
And here’s a bunch of Slinkachu’s images that arenm’t from the book but were just too good to leave off the page…
As Slink describes, ‘there is definitely an element of my work that is about the surprise of finding something unexpected, a world that usually goes unseen. So I hope that my work could sometimes jerk people out of their world. I see the figures as archetypes a lot of the time. They can stand in for real people that we might know or even us ourselves and their problems are analogies for the problems that we have on a day-to-day basis. The differences in scale can just emphasize things’.
I implore you all to take a moment to step away from what you are doing; to engage with others and the world around you and do something unexpected.
Images of the book by James Thorne. Portraits courtesy of the artist.
Director of Brand Projects
Originally spotted in Cool Hunting.