Marc Giai-Miniet is a French artist who looks like Santa Claus and works like a madman, building much of his livelihood on small, fastidiously complex dollhouses, some just 36 inches long and 35 inches wide.
Giai-Miniet is what'd you get if Kafka had designed Barbie dreamhouses.
Mind you, these are not the dollhouses of little girls? dreams. They're packed to the rafters with dusty books and miners? bins and dirty clawfoot tubs, with a blackened submarine thrown in here, a statue of the Virgin Mary there. One house, called Le grand digérant (?The large one digesting?), has a giant, gloopy intestine where most would put the parlor room. Giai-Miniet is round about what'd you get if Kafka had earned his keep designing Barbie dreamhouses.
But what does it all mean!? Giai-Miniet sent us his artist's statement in French. We'll let Babelfish take it away: "The essential idea, but it is not the only reading which one can make of the topic which traverses my work, is the relationship between the shade and the light, the good and the evil... The great question is: ?What the man, and why it is" Didn't it let mildew its chances of happiness???
Hoo boy! Sounds like a FCUK ad (Babelfish's fault, not the artist's). Suffice it to say, Giai-Miniet's dioramas are about lots of big, woolly philosophical questions. He's from France, after all, where big, woolly philosophical questions are, we believe, the national animal. Our advice: Don't think too hard about what he's doing here. Just enjoy the wacky wonderfulness of it all. Then thank the cosmos that this guy doesn't work for Mattel.
[Images courtesy of Marc Giai-Miniet]