It's a Big, Overwhelming World After All: Slinkachu's Global Street Art


Photographs from the mini installations of the "Little People Project"


Maybe social media isolating us; or maybe it's just another barely effective way we try to resist the atomism and anomie endemic to the modern world. I'm not sure what Slinkachu would think. The the U.K. street artist who previously brought you the Inner City Snail Project, Slinkachu is outwardly no more invested in exploring the causes behind the modern condition than he is in advancing "solutions" to it. What he is interested in is expressing the solitary, uncertain, anxious side of contemporary life -- in a way that lets us share in some collective self-deprecating irony about it.

For the Little People Project, something he's been up to since 2006, Slinkachu remodels and paints miniature model-train-set figures, leaving them on the streets of cities around the world and photographing them. "The street-based side of my work plays with the notion of surprise and I aim to encourage city-dwellers to be more aware of their surroundings," he says. "The scenes I set up ... aim to reflect the loneliness and melancholy of living in a big city, almost being lost and overwhelmed. But underneath this, there is always some humour. I want people to be able to empathise with the tiny people in my works."

Here are some shots, collected in the new book, Global Model Village ...

The Food Chain
Gui Jie (Ghost Street), Beijing, China, 2011

The Sights
The Acropolis, Athens, Greece, 2010

Slinkachu-3-Dunk-1.jpgAll-Star Nobody

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, 2011

Early Mid-Life Crisis

Reichstag, Berlin, Germany, 2011

Damn Kids

Rathaus area, Stuttgart, Germany, 2011

Springtime in Palestine

West Bank separation wall, Bethlehem, Palestinian territories, 2012

Hanging On

Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2011

All Alone

VDNKh area, Moscow, Russia, 2012


Bridgetown, Barbados, 2011


Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris, France, 2012

Slingkachu's exhibit at the Broome Street Gallery in New York runs through this week.

Images: Slinkachu
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J.J. Gould is the editor of More

He has written for The Washington MonthlyThe American ProspectThe Moscow Times, The Chronicle Herald, and The European Journal of Political Theory. Gould was previously an editor at the Journal of Democracy, co-published by the Johns Hopkins University Press and the National Endowment for Democracy, and a lecturer in history and politics at Yale University. He has also worked with McKinsey & Company's New York-based Knowledge Group on global public- and social-sector development and on the economics of carbon-emissions reduction. Gould has a B.A. in history from McGill University in Montreal, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and a Ph.D. in politics from Yale. He is from Nova Scotia.

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