The Miniature Series That Highlights Societies Contradictions Without All The Gloom

The contradictions that we face on a daily basis somehow seem much more humorous, and distant somehow, when we face them in miniature form. They are at once recognizable as us and yet we acknowledge them as toys – they seem less imposing, and not just because we could sweep them up in the palm of our hand.

History teaches us
If you want the truth
make your choice

Italian artist and photographer, Matteo Meoni, stumbled upon this charming series almost by accident. “I couldn’t afford to pay models, create sets and rent a real studio so miniatures appeared to be an excellent solution”. Aside from extracting the fear of a situation, the tiny toy figures allow us to see a wider picture: we can see an entire funeral scene within a few centimetres and further appreciate the juxtaposition of the stark truths we are being told.

The image of a funeral taking place while a young boy dances atop a modern Gameboy is perhaps our favourite example of how Matteo manages to extract heaviness from his series. The scene should feel gloomy yet the photographer takes the concept of feeling ‘blue’ and instead uses it as the background for the image. The light block of blue that surrounds the coffin, the mourners and the blissfully unaware, brings a playful tone to the image – we all understand the magnitude of such an event yet we delightfully detached.

Happiness in the 90s

From beach scenes to ones depicting societal inversion’s – humans trapped in cages while monkeys clamber onto banana viewing points to get a closer look, the photos have no real order. They are simply snapshots – bright and bold – of a world that allows little time to step back and survey.

We spoke to Matteo to find out more about what it is to be human.

The Plus: What inspired you to create this series?
Matteo Meoni:
The project was born out of my passion for photography. The project is the sum of so many experiences and passions that it would be impossible to sum up in a few lines but I think that primarily, I like to point out the contradictions of modern society.


TP: Where do you get the ideas for the different scenarios?
There are no rules, ideas come from films, books, news papers and television but pretty much everything could be “inspirational”. I usually think about what it is I want to talk about first and then figure out the scenes from there.

TP: What is the creative process for each photograph?
After the initial idea I make, or find, the figures and build the scenario before photographing it and editing it in a final, post-production stage.

monkey farm

TP: What three words would you use to sum up the series?
We are human.

TP: What is your favourite photograph of the series?
I love pretty much every picture I make because I create it from nothing, so in some way, during the creation process I start to love it. When I finish my work and have to disassemble everything I feel sad. Some times it’s because the scenario was pretty difficult to build and other times because it was just beautiful to look at – so it would be a lie to say I have a favourite one. I like the creation process and what I learn from it, that’s my favorite part of what I do.

TP: What’s next for you?
I would like to find a gallery for my first exhibition, but this at the moment this is a dream so for now I will just continue to take pictures.

Out of focus
Play your life
Sorry guys but we need these flowers
too much love
waiting for jesus
Your smartphone know
Easter bug
Same destiny
She’s got the power