Figures & Ground: Crafty Wood Miniatures Create Urban Vignettes

Inspired by everything from personal experience to famous photography, this street artist crafts small wooden cutouts to frame scenes of action, adventure, romance and life.

urban character in grass

urban mother son waves

urban miniature fishing boat

Living in New Jersey and working both there and in New York, Joe Iurato illustrates his miniature creations with black-and-white details, setting them apart from the colorful cityscapes they occupy.

urban climber figure person

urban parkour jumping figure

While the specific sizes and subjects vary, a common thread is found in their site-specific nature and detailed drawings – each figure or set thereof participates directly in its surroundings.

urban small world child

urban street figure ground

“From break dancing to skateboarding to rock climbing to becoming a father, all of these things have helped define my character. For me, it’s just about revisiting those moments in a way that’s familiar. I’ve always appreciated seeing architecture and nature in a different light.”

urban pothole inspector

urban tree climbing boy

urban track train walkers

“As a skater, the tar banks behind a local supermarket, a flight of stairs, a parking block, a drainage ditch, a handrail, a wall – they all present possibilities for interaction and fun in ways they weren’t intended to be used.”