Remember the classic, ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ by Jonathan Swift, where Lemuel Gulliver, a surgeon and sea captain, is shipwrecked on the Island of Lilliput and is ‘captured’ by tiny Lilliputians. It was certainly a fascinating story of its time, especially the scenes that these tiny inhabitants created in the readers’ mind.
It’s really incredible to see that there is a miniature artist in our midst, who is as adept in creating modern-day scenes, even naughty ones, merely by using his amazing skills of placing these figures in some ingenious settings and photographing them.
Meet Peter Csakvari, a Hungarian food photographer, residing in Budapest. His claim to fame is his popular series ‘Tiny Wasteland’. This series, that he has created and continues to create, depict some amazing scenes, combining miniature figures with real-life-sized objects. What’s more, these settings are not random but meaningful with apt captions. The end result is both hilarious and thought-provoking.
The objects he uses in his dioramas, that is, scenes with figures, are everyday items that include both food and others. These include items, such as a coffee cup, cigarette butts, computer keyboard, plastic straw, water faucet, etc. Food includes a broken coconut, bread slice, eggs, sausages, hamburger, pizza and many assorted food items, vegetables and fruits.
Just sample Peter’s cauliflower creation in which he places tiny sheep on the cauliflower head, complete with a shepherd with shepherd’s crook and a sheepdog. Or the thought-provoking one, titled ‘sausage sty’, in which a miniature pig is shown entering a hole in the giant sausage. He uses miniatures of people from all walks of life, such as construction workers, farmhands, etc. However, some of his works are only for adult viewing, since they show nudity and sex.
When asked about his miniature art, Peter replied, “I shoot a lot with my macro lenses, but I never really used the macro function. When I find these little folks on the internet, I started to see little worlds in every single common object around me.”
So, what got Peter started on this unique form of artistic photography? According to him, once he got stranded in a tiny island called Herm, due to horrible weather that forced him to remain indoors. At that time, he really craved to become a child again to while away his time playing with toys.
This was a eureka moment for him! He thought to himself why not embark on something in which he can use his photography skills. He settled on mini figures that he ordered and started with tiny dioramas. He set up his diorama in a softbox and started to click. Says he, “I always loved miniatures and I combined them with food photography.”
As a photographer, Peter’s aim was to create something great and he took great pains in setting up his scenes. Of course, the result was something really amazing. His ‘Tiny Wasteland’, started two years ago on the Channel Islands, UK, enjoys an impressive fan following on the social media. And yes, he works on commission as well.