Patrick Jacobs' fantastic dioramas:
The viewer observes Mr. Jacobs’s teeming green worlds through a custom-ordered biconcave lens. The diorama may measure just a foot wide by 10 inches tall and deep. Yet objects farther from the lens appear smaller, creating the illusion of great depth. A sealed steel box becomes a sort of holodeck, transporting the visitor to a wide-open meadow.
This bit of enchantment works just as well once you’ve learned the trick. A work like “Field of Dandelions,” for instance, reveals some 300 dandelions overrunning a lawn of grass and clover. But each margarine-colored flower presents a handmade fabrication by Mr. Jacobs: an assemblage of vellum, styrene, glue and acrylic paint.
The hoary dandelion seed heads? These tufts come from individual white cat hairs, glued into distinct seeds, then arranged together into a globe. Nature, of course, produces dandelions everywhere, in effortless abundance. With his miniature, Mr. Jacobs seems to be exploring just how much labor it takes to get someone to notice.
Michael Tortorello, "A Lifelike Version of Nature, but Not to Scale." NYT 5/8/2018.