Followup: Christopher Boffoli’s mini-scenes get mega-exposure

May 30, 2011 at 3:15 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people, WS culture/arts | 17 Comments

A week and a half ago, we reported longtime WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli‘s sudden international fame, when United Kingdom news organizations spotlighted his quirky photos and captions chronicling miniature figurines’ adventures on full-size food (and other items). Over the ensuing week, Christopher reports, photos from his series “Disparity have been showcased in 27 countries, as well as by cool-stuff showcasers in the U.S., among them avid tweeter Guy Kawasaki and design magazine Dwell. And these are more than link-shares – Christopher’s been asked for so many interviews, he said, “I don’t feel like I’ve had a decent night’s sleep in the past week.” A sample: Ignant (Germany), HBVL (Belgium), MTV3 (Finland), Ngoi Sao (Vietnam), Terra (Peru), News247 (Greece – screengrab above), and the list goes on. Brings to mind the classic Disneyland-ride soundtrack, “It’s a Small World, After All”…

17 Comments

  1. Congratulations! What great and exciting news. Your photos are absolutely fantastic!

    Comment by kate — 7:35 am May 30, 2011 #

  2. Fantastic! And well deserved! Good job Chris. :-)

    Comment by Jasperblu — 7:42 am May 30, 2011 #

  3. That is wonderful Christopher! Congratulations!
    I love those quirky shots!

    Comment by Deanie — 8:11 am May 30, 2011 #

  4. Imaginative and creative work!

    Where do the miniature figures come from? Anyone know? Does Chris make them and/or hand paint them himself?

    Enquiring minds…

    Comment by Pibal — 8:34 am May 30, 2011 #

  5. Loved the two older gents sitting on the squash for a chat … or chewin the fat as my dad would have said…

    Mostly … Get sleep later and enjoy the good news .. Congratulations!!

    Comment by clifton — 9:12 am May 30, 2011 #

  6. That’s very cool, but so reminiscent of the tiny people street art by Slinkachu – http://slinkachu.com/little-people

    Comment by Spana — 10:06 am May 30, 2011 #

  7. Congrats Chris!
    Chris generously donated eight mounted pieces of these photos to last year’s Art Auction and Wine Tasting @ Ola Salon. They.Were.A.Hit! Serious bidding wars and lots of smiling faces.

    If you have ever been to Ola Salon, Chris’s photos were displayed on the glass windows of the garage door that hangs on the wall. The popped!

    Thanks again Chris!

    Comment by furryfaces — 10:14 am May 30, 2011 #

  8. Thanks everyone!

    Actually, this project was inspired by the Travelers series by Walter Martin & Paloma Muñoz (http://www.martin-munoz.com) (2002-2005) and some dioramas by the Chapman Brothers that I saw at the Saatchi Gallery in London in 2003.
    .
    I hadn’t seen the Slinkachu work until someone sent me a link this past week. But I think it is really edgy and brilliant. Apparently, he sets up his figures in public places, shoots them and leaves them there for people to find which is pretty hilarious. It doesn’t surprise me at all that other artists are exploring the concept of this kind of size disparity. The elements (food and toys) are the most common things in just about every culture in the world.
    .
    Pibal: Though I frequently modify and paint them, these HO scale figures are available at just about any model train store. In fact, some of the figures I used in this series were sourced from the model train store in the Junction. The whole project is very much home-grown, now that I think about it. In the bananas image Tracy posted this morning, the fruit came from Met Market, the backdrop came from NW Art & Frame, and the lighting was sourced from another West Seattle landmark: the Sun. :-)

    Comment by cjboffoli — 10:23 am May 30, 2011 #

  9. Brilliant. Vibrant. Fun. Thought provoking.

    Comment by Been There — 10:54 am May 30, 2011 #

  10. Chris, have you seen the documentary Marwencol? I recently saw it via Netflix and was blown away! I think you’d get a kick out of it. Looky here:http://www.marwencol.com/

    Comment by kate — 11:07 am May 30, 2011 #

  11. Way to go Christopher! Congrats!

    Comment by cathyw — 11:21 am May 30, 2011 #

  12. Kate: Thanks for the link. I haven’t seen that but the trailer looks really compelling. The amount of detail and scale of those figures is impressive. I’ll have to check it out.

    Comment by cjboffoli — 11:33 am May 30, 2011 #

  13. Thanks for the extra details Chris. Fun stuff!

    Comment by Pibal — 6:35 pm May 30, 2011 #

  14. Chris, love these photos!! Curious though – why aren’t the captions on your Disparity website? The captions combined with the photos are what makes them so funny – but are all of the other countries just interested or are only seeing the photos?

    Comment by KimB — 11:07 pm May 30, 2011 #

  15. KimB: The captions are there. You just have to click the little “i” tab in the upper left-hand corner of the image to turn them on.
    .
    Many of the news outlets have run the images with the captions. However, they’ve been published in many more places that have simply grabbed them off my website without permission and posted them without any captions or context. They’re perhaps more interested in advertising revenue than the original intentions of the artist.
    .
    Even worse, some have added their own corny captions and written their own text. I’ve seen the project renamed to things having to do with “Elves from Lilliput” and other things said in articles that are incorrect simply because they never took the time to speak with me. Some don’t mention my name at all. It is particularly bizarre to see new images, just shot in the past few days, suddenly pop up on news websites in Iran and Brazil.
    .
    This is the dark side of having your work burn its way across the web. In the current state of copyright abuse, once the cat is out of the bag you can’t put it back in. I wouldn’t be surprised if, when I’m wandering through India or Mainland China in a few years, to stumble upon tea mugs or t-shirts with these images on them.

    Comment by cjboffoli — 9:07 am May 31, 2011 #

  16. Has anyone seen Lori Honeycutt’s work from BigWorld Photography? I thought this was her work at first. She’s ver talented.

    Comment by BC — 5:59 am June 2, 2011 #

  17. Not too bad, but actually it looks more like the work of P. Javelle & A. Ida (www.minimiam.com). I’m not sure you found something really new but a way to make the buzz…

    Comment by Steve — 11:02 am June 9, 2011 #

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