Art Under the Microscope


| May-June 2010


British micro-sculptor Willard Wigan’s work is so small that each piece is installed in its own enclosed mount, with high-intensity lighting and a built-in binocular microscope. Look through the microscope, and iconic forms and images, many of them from pop culture, appear.

Although it is interesting to see what images Wigan chooses—Nefertiti, Tinkerbell, Puff Daddy, Homer Simpson—the greater interest lies in the marvel of their existence, in three dimensions, at this tiny size. The artist began making very small things, such as houses and clothes for ants, when he was 5 years old, and has taken his pieces orders of magnitude smaller in the subsequent decades. Entirely self-taught, he now works in materials from plastic to gold under very high magnification. With microscopic tools of his own making, he carves and paints figures that fit easily on the head of a pin or in a needle’s eye. He must take the focused concentration of the craftsperson to extremes: At this scale, the pulse in his fingertips acts like a jackhammer.

One of his most successful pieces conceptually is Barack Obama and Family, depicting the victorious appearance of the president, the first lady, and their daughters on election night 2008.

—Kate Dobbs Ariail, excerpted from  American Craft  (Feb.-March 2010); www.american craftmag.org 



tommy
5/13/2010 6:08:23 PM

Pictures would make this article much better . Also, The sign-up process is a little confusing . I'm not sure if this is going to go through ...or not ??


Michelle_7
5/11/2010 10:51:40 AM

The link should be http://www.americancraftmag.org/ though the review does not apparently appear in the online version of the magazine. Intrigued, I searched further. There are lots of images when you do a Google image search on Willard Wigan. One of his talks Art Meets Science is on Ted.com. His website has video interviews, etc. http://www.willard-wigan.com/video.aspx Remarkable.


Will Brady
5/11/2010 8:15:21 AM

Sounds intriguing! Pity there are no links to images. The link to American Craftmag did not work for me.















Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!




Facebook Instagram Twitter flipboard


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265