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The Diorama & Patrick Jacobs – An Excerpt from Patrick Jacobs’s interview with Lucky Compiler


‘Peeping Tom’ never had the opportunity of receiving such rich rewards, not such surreal gratification at the least. Yet Patrick Jacobs’s work did precisely so. In looking through the lens of the holes each adult audience of his is perennially ‘Facing or Escaping Reality’.

Born in California, 1971 current resident of Brooklyn, New York Patrick Jacobs travelled far and wide from Florence, Dublin, Berlin, Munich to Mexico City and Osaka with his diorama of ‘Stump with Red Banded Brackets, 2012’, ‘Fly Agaric Cluster #5, 2012’, ‘Fairy Ring with Dandelions, 2010’ to name a few. Through his ‘Otherworldly’ miniature installations Patrick surely manages to capture the ‘little moments that create the mighty ages of eternity’.

Your landscapes have a surreal attraction attached to those. In fact it is almost therapeutic to look at those lush green fields. Tell us something about your process of choosing a theme and developing it to an artistic expression.

I often come upon something by chance and then set about exploring why I am drawn to it. A body of work then develops out of this process of investigation. I discovered the ‘fairy ring fungus’ for example in Ortho’s All About Lawns, which depicts circles of mushrooms or dark green grass growing in a meadow or on a lawn. According to folklore, it was created by fairies dancing in a circle in the night. Today it’s considered a lawn disease meant to be eradicated. The conflation of the scientific and the supernatural really interested me.

I begin a scene while viewing it through slightly curved lenses. I work on and compose it like a three-dimensional painting over a period of time. The focal length and sculptural foreshortening combine to create the illusion of depth. Installed in the wall, the objectivity of the landscape disappears presenting an image that seems to exist only in your mind. It is a distorted reality corrected only when looking through the glass.

The Art of Patrick Jacobs

If tomorrow Patrick Jacobs is asked to build a miniature installation as a reflection of his artistic journey, what would that reveal?

I’ve tried to communicate an attitude or character through objects, actions and images which, taken as a whole over a period of time, would give them a broader meaning. There is always the attempted transformation of the ordinary through extraordinary circumstances. It’s the attempt that’s important, even when it fails in the end. A first glance might reveal a small brown mushroom triumphant in a mystical landscape. To me, that would be a wonderfully precarious proposition.