by Magnus Shaw.
I'm well aware of my tendency to be a grouch. Blame it on old age, blame it on a personality flaw, blame it on the boogie - whatever the reason, I absolute concede the point. When I find something unsatisfactory, foolish or flawed, I'm inclined to sound off about it. If you've read these columns before, you'll know that.
However, when something passes through my radar which I consider inspired, intriguing and just a little bit fantastic, I hope I'm not slow to show my enthusiasm and share it with Creativepoolers.
Fortunately, today is one of those positive days, because today I discovered the work of Seattle-based artist Christopher Boffoli.
Christopher has hit on a style which cuts through all the contemporary art BS to produce pieces as charming as they are accessible. Simplicity is the key to his work but that's not to deny the immense wit and humour his projects radiate.
His collection of miniature figures interacting with 'real-world' objects is called Disparity and has been exhibited widely across America. He also produces films and writes, but it is these immaculate and joyous dioramas which have brought him international recognition.
In an interview with Alyssa Anda of My Modern Met, he explains "The hand-painted figures that I work with are made for HO scale model train sets, (so) it is probably no coincidence that around age ten I had a large, elaborate model train layout that my father built for my brother and me. Everything about it was meticulously detailed. Especially with this train set, there was an infinite number of people, cars and buildings one could arrange on the landscape of a perfect little world.
"I suppose there is in some part a god-like feeling to having command of an entire world which you can rearrange at any capricious whim. And no matter how messy the real world can become, everything always looks clean and perfect from above in the world of the model train layout."
In the series shown here, Christopher uses food as his landscape. There's a good reason for this: "Food was a natural choice as a backdrop because it is the most common subject for most people, readily accessible to them. Not to mention, food can be beautiful with wonderful textures and colours."
You'll notice Boffoli makes no grand claims of profundity or mystique - and in a world dominated by the grossly overrated Damien Hirst and the wilfully controversial Tracey Emin, that is enormously refreshing. These pieces simply ask you to examine the playfulness of the contrasting scales and see familiar objects in a very unusual way. Rather than change your life, Christopher's work is primarily about fascination and entertainment. That's its beauty and wonder. I hope you admire and enjoy these images as much as I do.
Don't worry, I'll be back to grouchy soon enough.