Call of the Small

Whenever I ask, what can I do to help our planet? How can my skills be put to use to help clean the oil in the Gulf? My sons say the best thing I can do is to live more simply, consume less oil. Take shorter showers. My younger son, the astrophysicist, says the most energy efficient way to live is in an urban high rise, watching TV and playing video games all day — consumes very little energy.

He also believes creating artwork creates more waste. Now you have to understand my son — a Ph.D candidate, he likes to take the devil’s advocate approach to an argument. But he does have a point. If I create artwork out of recycled materials, I’m still adding material to the planet that someday will have to be disposed of.

So I think my son would really like the new trend for small. First, we saw it in the film Synecdoche, in which the wife of the main character specializes in miniature painting. She needs a special magnifying glass to create her paintings, and in a scene of her gallery opening, indeed the viewers, too, need the magnifying glasses (see more here).

The New York Times featured an interesting story about people who decorate in miniature. There are a “growing number of devotees of miniature modern design,” writes Kate Murphy in the House Proud column. “With their love of clean lines and sleek interiors, mini-modernists are unlike the vast majority of dollhouse hobbyists, who tend to favor more ornate Victorian and Tudor styles.”

Christine Ferrara, a 39-year-old public affairs director at the Institute for Advanced Study, was featured in the article. The West Windsor resident will be giving a presentation tomorrow, 4-7 p.m., at Design Within Reach in Princeton. “Grab a magnifying glass and peer into the world of modern miniatures,” says the announcement.” Ms. Ferrara blogs at Call of the Small.

“She even includes little paintings in the decorated rooms,” says my friend Andrea Kane, who’ll be photographing the event.

“An increasing number of manufacturers are producing mini-modern homes and furnishings for people to create fantasy spaces that, at full size, would be too impractical or expensive to own,” writes Kate Murphy in the Times.

And, if you like to redecorate often, it has less of an impact on the environment. So will artwork produced at that scale.

This entry was posted in Architecture, Contemporary Art, Crafts, Environment, modernism and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Call of the Small

  1. Call of the Small- what a superb title, and intriguing idea, Ilene.

    I always appreciate your expanding our horizons, as well as calling attention to conscious living in these compromised times.

    Best to you, always, Carolyn

  2. Hey, Ilene. Interesting thought. Another movie that has an artist in it who makes tiny stuff is Tiny Furniture. I reviewed it (and a few other things) here

  3. Pingback: The Artful Blogger! » Ashokan Farewell

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