Check Out This South Australian Artist's Tiny, Grimy Worlds

Saturday June 01, 2019 Written by Garry

Sure, we like model railways. But the way they collapse the world into an idealised and unrealistic version of reality can get a little suffocating. Which might be why we find Joshua Smith’s urban miniatures such a breath of fresh (or perhaps slightly polluted) air.

Rather than clean, idyllic worlds, the South Australian artist creates familiar street scenes filled with paste-up posters, rubbish-littered streets, and graffiti-covered roller doors.

This sense of realism seems to be influenced by his many years as a stencil artist – grime arguably comes naturally to you when your canvas is a dimly lit back street. Details gleaned from his street art days arguably add a level of realism rarely seen on such a small scale. Where else would you find a model building block with an air conditioning condenser unit blackened by fumes? Or empty coffee containers strewn across miniaturised roads? How many miniaturists do you know of make models of X-rated bookstores, abandoned workshops or dumpsters? Well you know of one now, at least.