Small World: Mini Wooden Cutouts Take Over the Streets

Small World Joe Iurato Main

Life is an adventure for tiny wooden figures navigating the urban world in this miniature art installation series by Joe Iurato. The New Jersey-based street artist creates small spray-painted wood cutouts that tell the story of his life, from skateboarding as a kid to becoming a father himself. The little people lounge on rusting metal gates, cling precariously to the edges of overpasses, lunge to reach crosswalk buttons and spray-paint their own works of art.

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No bigger than fifteen inches in size, the figures are created using layers of hand-cut paper and spray paint to create texture and form in a modern adaptation of an old-fashioned printing process. The artist places them around the city and leaves them for others to notice or overlook, depending on how observant they may be when they pass.

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“My art is nothing more than the exploration and documentation of personal experiences,” says Iurato. “The pieces form an abstract of my life. They are the questions I have, the conclusions drawn, the love, disgust, joy and sadness contained. Essentially, I paint what I know, or what it is I want to know, playfully or painfully.”

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“However big or small, the works are often created in public spaces and left to interact with the environment and community. Like life itself, the nature of public art is one of transience. Each piece mirrors the unpredictability of existence and hopes to establish an intimate connection with the viewer in the here-and-now.”