6 Diorama Artists Who Create Fascinating Miniature Worlds

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Photo: Randy Hage
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Miniature art can be small in size, but it often makes a big impression. Artists around the world have embraced the diorama as a way to create three-dimensional miniature scenes from wood, paper, and other everyday objects. From expert model makers to imaginative photographers, read on to discover the work of six diorama artists who transport viewers to tiny otherworldly environments.

So what is a diorama? The term “diorama” originated in 1823 in France and referred to an image viewing device used for theater performances. The word literally means “through what is seen”, from the Greek “di” (through) and “orama” (that which is seen, a sight). Today, the diorama refers to a three-dimensional model that represents a scene in miniature. They are often used as educational exhibits in museums, but many contemporary artists create dioramas to capture particular places, concepts, and ideas.

Here are 6 diorama artists who create incredibly detailed miniature scenes.

Randy Hage

Randy Hage Diorama Art

Artist Randy Hage pays homage to historic New York buildings by recreating them in miniature. Hage became particularly interested in old storefronts in the late 90s, when he photographed aging cast-iron buildings in SoHo. “The colors, the patina, the age, the disrepair were pretty compelling,” he told My Modern Met. “These facades have a story to tell, and the owners are an integral part of the city’s history. New York’s storefronts, especially the old Mom and Pop stores, are more than just outlets, they’re an integral part of the community. The talented artist aims to immortalize these stores before they disappear for good. Each detailed three-dimensional model is carefully handcrafted from wood, paper, resin, glass, plastic and metal.

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Andy Acres

Andy Acres diorama art

London-based model maker Andy Acres (of Chimerical Reveries) crafts detailed shadow boxes that depict eerie scenes. From abandoned farmhouses and old granaries to fog-filled forests and tombs, Acres invites viewers to “peer into another world.” Each spooky miniature scene is handcrafted with wood, brass screws, plastic and glass. Framed shadow boxes are often backlit with LED lights, which can be turned on and off using an antique rocker.

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Derrick Lin

Seattle-based photographer Derrick Lin builds miniature worlds out of common office supplies. Tiny figurines are placed among pencils, paper clips, staples and often the artist’s own cup of coffee. Through her dioramas, Lin reflects her own personal experiences. “In addition to humor and whimsy, I started paying more attention to topics around loneliness, mental health and kindness,” he reveals. “I strive to describe and bring to light the type of thoughts that we generally reserve to ourselves.”

Follow Derrick Lin: Instagram | Company6

Mohammad Hafez

Connecticut-based Syrian-born artist Mohamad Hafez creates architectural dioramas of Middle Eastern urban environments from found objects and scrap metal. An architect by trade, he builds cross-sections of ramshackle streets brimming with realistic detail. Often enclosed in suitcases and picture frames, each wall piece is meant to be closely examined. Hafez hopes her work will highlight the political and social issues of her war-torn homeland and “expose the conflicts of the Middle East to the world in a modest artistic approach to appeal to a wider contemporary audience.”

Follow Mohamad Hafez: Website | instagram

Aleia Murawski and Sam Copeland

Taking a more comedic approach to diorama art, Illinois-based Aleia Murawski and Sam Copeland create miniature worlds for snails. These are no ordinary garden snails, however; they live a life of luxury in the creative duo’s hand-crafted scenes. The slimy creatures are depicted sliding into a limo, basking in the glow of a disco ball, and even flying around in airplanes.

Follow Aleia Murawski and Samuel Copeland: Website | instagram

Gregory Grozos

Gregory Grozos Diorama Art

Greek artist Gregory Grozos breathes new life into antique jewelry by inserting miniature scenes into pocket watches and pendants. Each carefully composed trinket tells a story, and the tiny figurines are placed among small homes, workplaces and even forests. “A few years ago, I had the idea of ​​creating a whole little world that a person can carry around,” Grozos reveals. “I then started developing ways to do just that. My work is very detailed and most pieces take days or even weeks to complete.

Follow Gregory Grozos: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Etsy

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