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The Street Art of Slinkachu: Little People in a Big World

In our race to get through this life, we run like horses with blinkers, our resolute gaze failing to stray from the path in front of us. But if we avert our eyes and slow to a jog, the darkened street corners can be a welcome respite from the rush.

London based artist Slinkachu works with the miniature world. Many of his art installations are only thumbnails high; only those walking slow enough are able to spot them. The scenes are often comical: a man whose car has been crushed by a giant lollipop or a resigned superhero sitting in a beer can. But there is likewise a melancholy undertone. Slinkachu’s installations explore the sadness of everyday life and the anguish of becoming old and mediocre. His tiny, overweight, balding superhero is now a redundant beer drinker.

But this is just my way of interpreting his work. I contacted Slinkachu to find out what context he brings to his work; whether he creates them merely for fun or if they have reflexive or satirical intent.

Slinkachu says:
My work plays with metaphor and analogies – there is an obvious ‘fantasy’ element to the work but really all the images are commenting on real life and real situations. I try and explore the different types of feeling that living in a big city can create – those of being lost, alone, dwarfed by the environment or threatened by others. I use a lot of humour as well though, as there is often something inherently absurd about the dramas and problems of city living. I think that humour can be really useful in putting across ideas. Hopefully my work has different levels – on the surface it is often humorous but underneath that there are darker themes for people to explore.

The superhero series was all about growing old. We overlook older people in society despite what great things they may have done in the past, and I wanted to explore that. I think some of it was about my personal feelings about growing up too, about hidden hopes and dreams and whether or not these things play out in life.

Slinkachu has published two collections of his work: Global Model Village and Little People in the City. He challenges viewers to find the deeper meaning in his work, however the installations are also designed for enjoyment on a purely aesthetic level.

In a world plagued with disease, global warming and inequality, it is easy to adopt a pessimistic attitude towards life. By contrast, something I find refreshing about Slinkachu’s work is his ability to similarly feature moments that make life exciting and sublime – finding a giant ‘sea-monster’ shoelace in Fantastic Voyage, or playing on a slide in Wet ‘n’ Wild.

Although it is tempting to live life following the illuminated path, the shadows also hold gems of wisdom if we’d only stop and look.

About Hannah Gordon

I have recently completed my first year at Monash, dazzled by the hulking beauty of the Menzies building. I love reading and writing, and my favourite writers include Marieke Hardy, Craig Silvey and Oscar Wilde. In my spare time I can be found poring over Leunig cartoons or playing saxophone.

Hannah Gordon

The author Hannah Gordon

I have recently completed my first year at Monash, dazzled by the hulking beauty of the Menzies building. I love reading and writing, and my favourite writers include Marieke Hardy, Craig Silvey and Oscar Wilde. In my spare time I can be found poring over Leunig cartoons or playing saxophone.

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