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Little People in the City: The Street Art of Slinkachu

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"They're Not Pets, Susan," says a stern father who has just shot a bumblebee, its wings sparkling in the evening sunlight. A lone office worker, less than an inch high, looks out over the river in his lunch break, "Dreaming of Packing it All In." A tiny man makes his way back to a tiny car, with a tiny shopping bag: "Shopping for one again." Another office worker sits atop "They're Not Pets, Susan," says a stern father who has just shot a bumblebee, its wings sparkling in the evening sunlight. A lone office worker, less than an inch high, looks out over the river in his lunch break, "Dreaming of Packing it All In." A tiny man makes his way back to a tiny car, with a tiny shopping bag: "Shopping for one again." Another office worker sits atop a gigantic engagement ring and gazes into the distance; the caption reads, simply: "No." These are the collected photographs of Slinkachu, a London-based artist who for several years has been placing tiny hand painted people on street corners, park benches, and the Underground, and leaving them to fend for themselves. Much like Banksy's early graffiti work, Slinkachu's creations mix the bustle, humor, and melancholy of city life, and lie quietly in the darker corners of London's streets, waiting to be discovered. And if you’re lucky enough to find one, to quote The Times: "Oddly enough, even when you know they are just hand-painted figurines, you can't help but feel that their plights convey something of our own fears about being lost and vulnerable in a big, bad city." This volume also includes a forward from acclaimed novelist Will Self.


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"They're Not Pets, Susan," says a stern father who has just shot a bumblebee, its wings sparkling in the evening sunlight. A lone office worker, less than an inch high, looks out over the river in his lunch break, "Dreaming of Packing it All In." A tiny man makes his way back to a tiny car, with a tiny shopping bag: "Shopping for one again." Another office worker sits atop "They're Not Pets, Susan," says a stern father who has just shot a bumblebee, its wings sparkling in the evening sunlight. A lone office worker, less than an inch high, looks out over the river in his lunch break, "Dreaming of Packing it All In." A tiny man makes his way back to a tiny car, with a tiny shopping bag: "Shopping for one again." Another office worker sits atop a gigantic engagement ring and gazes into the distance; the caption reads, simply: "No." These are the collected photographs of Slinkachu, a London-based artist who for several years has been placing tiny hand painted people on street corners, park benches, and the Underground, and leaving them to fend for themselves. Much like Banksy's early graffiti work, Slinkachu's creations mix the bustle, humor, and melancholy of city life, and lie quietly in the darker corners of London's streets, waiting to be discovered. And if you’re lucky enough to find one, to quote The Times: "Oddly enough, even when you know they are just hand-painted figurines, you can't help but feel that their plights convey something of our own fears about being lost and vulnerable in a big, bad city." This volume also includes a forward from acclaimed novelist Will Self.

30 review for Little People in the City: The Street Art of Slinkachu

  1. 4 out of 5

    karen

    this book is amazing. it is what i imagine connor thinks of what rhode island looks like; tiny little people going about their tiny little lives. i know very little about art (except what william taught me about pietro della francesca yesterday) but i know that this is genius, even though the gum one grosses greg out a lot.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Petra-X

    This is like The Borrowers for grown-ups. The difference being that these little people don't hide. The author/artist places his little doll people in all sorts of situations that are either humourous, draw attention to something we would otherwise miss or make a political or sociological point. He mostly succeeds. It's a nice gift book, but the quality of the printing of the photographs doesn't elevate into the coffee-table to be shown off realm, but more stashed away on the humour shelf.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Olson

    Photo essay teeny weeny art dioramas depicting daily lives of urban inch-high plastic figures, in scenarios ranging from cheeky to wry to touching to risque, all seeming to silently comment on our own existence.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    Can't decide which set-piece I like best. Think it might be "They're not pets, Susan", though maybe it is "Local amenities for children." So, who is Slinkachu? Presumably Will Self knows, since he wrote the introduction to Little People.... But the more relevant question may be where did he get that name? In any case, he makes city living interesting again, and forces us to see the world anew. Can't decide which set-piece I like best. Think it might be "They're not pets, Susan", though maybe it is "Local amenities for children." So, who is Slinkachu? Presumably Will Self knows, since he wrote the introduction to Little People.... But the more relevant question may be where did he get that name? In any case, he makes city living interesting again, and forces us to see the world anew.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sze

    my reactions as i flipped the pages: "wooooow!" "ewww" "ha-HA!" "oh no" "ohmigod!!!" felt absolutely greedy to see it all at once. but i will be returning to it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bert

    Wonderful and fresh book! Every page made me smile, laugh and think. The biggest little book ever.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alex G

    I love all his work... Somehow he makes the situations involving his tiny figures seem larger than life.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    Inspiring, making us google mapping and trying to find the exact location of the "plastic people" :) However, many of the places have changed. Thanks to the timing function, the area around the time of 2008 can still be matched, like Tesco Express Hammersmith and Palace Theatre!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Incredible and genius! And I've just ordered the other books in this collection! Although I changed my rating to four stars instead of five after I realized that every single character in the book is white - which is a shame.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alasdair Martin

    Whilst I enjoy Slinkachu's work I found myself disappointed with this offering and would have liked to have read some of Slinkachu's thoughts behind the scene's.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ligaya

    Skip any text and just enjoy the photographs. Amusing, clever - so glad it didn't devolve into pornographic imagery.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nathalie

    The little street-art art installations and photographs by Slinkachu show little narratives of everyday life with some social commentary between the lines.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Blynnk

    I love this book. everytime I look through it, i'm again entertained. some humor, some satire, some social commentary. I will have to see if I can find any new creations of his.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    If I'm honest, I bought this book by mistake. I thought it was a set of postcards that I originally wanted to purchase. I figured they would be great for that. I was surprised when I got this, and it was a book of photographs of little people doing street things. This was one of those mistakes turned into something that I loved. The photographs in Slikachu were great to look at and the idea was great. It was one of those "Why didn't I think of that?". I found myself chuckling at some of the phot If I'm honest, I bought this book by mistake. I thought it was a set of postcards that I originally wanted to purchase. I figured they would be great for that. I was surprised when I got this, and it was a book of photographs of little people doing street things. This was one of those mistakes turned into something that I loved. The photographs in Slikachu were great to look at and the idea was great. It was one of those "Why didn't I think of that?". I found myself chuckling at some of the photographs that they had. My favorites were tourist, urban camping, the mother load, our fist home, one false move, office politics, scavengers, "they;re no pets Susan" and bad first date. After receiving the book through Amazon, I did some research on the Little People project to see some more art work by Slinkachu. Apparently, this project started as a blog and worked it's way into a book. What's nice about this book is that you see the photograph of the idea at hand, and you also see the photograph from far away. Either way I really enjoyed this nice surprise. I've encluded some pictures from the blog site, and will enclude the link as well so you can go check it out.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Janie

    Sometimes, and mostly at first, I was like "aw. I love this." - 'Hung up', 'Commuting', 'Danger!', 'Bin Day', 'One False Move', 'Dreams of packing it all in' Then I was like {wry chuckle}. - 'Our First Home', 'Diet' Sometimes I was like, ick sad. (Not like good cry sad, like 'Twelve months later'.) - 'No', 'One day he will notice me' Then I was like "what the HORROR!!?" It got darker and a little horrible toward the end. Maybe if I hadn't been so greedy, hadn't snarfed it down in a day, it would Sometimes, and mostly at first, I was like "aw. I love this." - 'Hung up', 'Commuting', 'Danger!', 'Bin Day', 'One False Move', 'Dreams of packing it all in' Then I was like {wry chuckle}. - 'Our First Home', 'Diet' Sometimes I was like, ick sad. (Not like good cry sad, like 'Twelve months later'.) - 'No', 'One day he will notice me' Then I was like "what the HORROR!!?" It got darker and a little horrible toward the end. Maybe if I hadn't been so greedy, hadn't snarfed it down in a day, it would have ended otherwise. (See what this book did to me?! Behold the mental warp of art gluttony guilt.)

  16. 4 out of 5

    Amelia

    It feels like an exaggeration to say I read this book when it is 99% pictures, but I suppose technically it's true. Anyway - I love the idea of these little pieces of life - and the idea that I might find one one day tucked away somewhere. It's like the Borrowers with social commentary - what more could you want really?

  17. 5 out of 5

    Vonia

    The artist is pretty awesome. Sets up the miniature people in creative situations. Poses them with meticulous planning, then comes the photography. So cute. I could frame all of these, they are so awesome. Even the captions are ingenious! You have to see it to appreciate it; not much more I can say. Love it!

  18. 5 out of 5

    jj aitken

    I am an artist and i love creating environments that are spacious and foreboding for the small images i place in them, so obviously this really hit a cord with me. The scale/environment balance in these images is perfect.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joel

    Collection of tiny sculptures of people placed in our normal-sized human world with the results often being context changing, humorous and clever. I loved the cover shot of a man just after he shot a bee with a rifle telling his young daughter that they aren't pets.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elaine Meszaros

    Artist Slinkachu sets up teeny-tiny dioramas of teeny-tiny people doing naughty things throughout London. Using the surrounding "big people world" his minute people interact with their sets as though their size is perfectly normal. Amazing and devious.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amie

    Love the pictures & captions! This is a really fun book! :) Love the pictures & captions! This is a really fun book! :)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Gary Lee

    Simple. Brilliant. Simply Brilliant!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    This guy makes a small puddle on a sidewalk look like a big lake. I like how he also creates weird little disturbing scenarios--and then leaves it there, on the sidewalk or wherever!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Chris S

    Can't decide which is my favourite - 'Dreams of packing it all' in or 'They're not pets, Susan'. Genius.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Gotta love the artwork here. Not for all as there's a few adult-themed ones. Glad I read it before I showed it to my kids. But it's still amazing and quite clever.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    There are many offerings out there in the category of Coffee Table Books Featuring Hilarious Photos Taken By a Really Twisted Bastard, but this is my editor's pick at the moment.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Angie Johnson

    Wanted to say its cute, but its not. Its exceedingly clever.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    Balloon man and the feast are my favourites =)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brigid

    Love the art, not so much the intro from the author.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Hilary

    Clever, witty and funny photographs of tiny, tiny figures in a big, big world.

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