“A haunting reminder of a world depleted in natural resources.” Artist of the week: Jacob Crivello
This week, we spoke to Jacob Crivello, a 22-year-old artist from Brighton who creates miniature pieces to “evoke feeling through re-imagined micro-landscapes.”
Inspired by realistic Victorian watercolour landscapes and imagining himself inside them – “experiencing the sounds, smells, and the general plot unfolding”– Jacob started creating his own landscapes in detailed miniature format. Re-using what were once old bits of clay, wood or cork he makes tiny worlds come to life by creating a narrative for the figures inside.
In these models, contemporary figures are dwarfed by landscapes of craggy moss-covered rocks, sandy cliff edges, watery gulleys, sparse vegetation and tiny alpine flowers.
He creates moments between two lovers as though everything else has stopped, positioned against poignant landscapes and sensual textures. Giving people “an outlet to imagine and wonder, and at least for a few minutes the ability to escape their metropolis surroundings.”
Jacob also seats lone contemplative figures gazing out onto the “unseen landscapes beyond the confines of the glass” to represent the beauty of humans in nature and the vital relationship that we have with our earth.
Figures of men with walking sticks, or of individuals sitting alone in contemplative melancholic poses, resonate with emotional force.
He explains that these “old men with walking sticks represent the fragility of life and of man”. To emphasise this sense of fragility, he created a series using old tobacco tins. “Lots of people tell me they remind them of their grandparents who used to smoke.”
Jacob explains that he starts most days absorbed in these microworlds, beginning by either sculpting or priming his pieces. “Because my work is so small I need to let my eyes become completely focused before I start painting the finer details.” Once the pieces have been primed he then starts layering the models with different washes of colour and then drybrushes the scenes to add texture. For the final stage is he adds foliage and painted figures to set the scene and create the desired atmosphere.
“Positioned under glass domes these landscapes are micro-worlds we can view from a reassuringly safe distance, which are indicative of curiosities in a 19th-century museum collection, yet at the same time offer a haunting reminder of a world depleted in natural resources through climate change.”
Through making miniature worlds, Jacob Crivello explores the minute details of human existence whilst simultaneously commenting on the paramountcy of our relationship with nature.
His models are available in Cameron Contemporary, Hove and the Hicks Gallery, London. He hopes to do a number of new shows later on in this year which will be announced through his Instagram @jacob_crivello.