New miniatures from Pablo Delgado in Hackney Wick.
Pablo Delgado is a Mexican artist now living in London. He creates miniature scenes, some real, some surreal, out of paper. The locations are carefully selected for each subject and he paints the background wall where they are to placed, including a shadow which creates a 3D illusion.
I only discovered his work last weekend and what joy that was. I particularly love miniature images. Maybe because I loved dolls houses as girl. Or maybe because my Dad read us The Borrowers as children. For those who aren’t familiar with the books and later films, the Borrowers were a family of little people who lived under the floor boards.
I also love a treasure hunt. I spotted his work on Instagram where the artist announced “a game with 21 pieces” to find. I looked at the date of his post and saw that they had already been out there in the wild for a week! So the next day, last Sunday afternoon, I went to find them.
Pablo Delgado: Day 1 of my treasure hunt.
I was meant to be working all day that Sunday but I knew I could squeeze in an afternoon on this hunt. That meant I didn’t spend any time looking closely at the photos online to try and spot exactly where they might be. There were 21 in a small area, how hard would it be to spot them?
They were much harder to find than I initially thought because they are so small and many are very well hidden. After 2 hours, and rather achey legs, I’d found 15 and I needed to get home.
That evening, I was back online working out which ones I had found and which ones were missing. I drew up a list of 8 and I knew that I had to go back to find them.
Pablo Delgado: Day 2 of my treasure hunt
I decided not to wait another week before returning to find my missing 8. I calculated that if I got to Hackney Wick at 8am the next morning, I could find them in an hour. I also had studied the online photos for clues. My hard work paid off and I found 7 and I left feeling very happy. I convinced myself that the one I couldn’t find had now gone.
But then Pablo Delgado posted an image of another one I hadn’t seen before which was inside the toilets in a café. And the two other big Delgado fans also on this hunt posted photos of another image outside that I hadn’t seen before either. And thanks to a massive clue from a 3rd fan, I discovered that I’d walked passed my missing eighth one a number of times already.
And you guessed, I knew I was going back again but not until the weekend. I had to pray that the little people would still be there.
The detail on all these works is exquisite but notice this one, with the fox and the miniature lady on the bike box. And the bits of leaf stuck to the wall.
Pablo Delgado: Day 3 of my treasure hunt.
Yesterday, was a glorious sunny day. I found my 3 missing works with ease. And rephotographed this one below. It had been instantly recognisable from the close-up on day 1. Looking through my photographs, I thought a wider scene setting image was needed. I also noticed that one of the key works I loved, the one of the drug runners on the orange graff (see below) has now been painted over by new graff. My collection is now complete! All 21 works plus 4 = 25 in total.
To give you a sense of scale, this is why I missed this one on my first visit.
This is one of the scenes I went back for on day 2. On my first visit I was convinced that it had been painted over as there were plenty of graff writers at work last Sunday. But I had walked right passed it. :). The following Sunday, when I returned for 3 more, it had gone.
Fascinating image. I wonder what is going on with the poor creature.
I wasn’t sure if these next two images was part of the 21 new works or not. The first one has been tagged over.
And this one has bits missing but that could also be part of the illusion. I love the way he gives some of the new works a distressed look. This lets them weather into their settings.
This next one is another of the works I walked straight passed on my first visit. With all the building work in the area, I was also amazed it was still there over a week since its installation.
I didn’t place the leaf in this next shot. It was actually like this. I took a second shot without the leaf afterwards. But I prefer this one as it shows just how tiny these works are.
This is a crafty one to find. For ages I was looking at blue cars but I thought that wasn’t fair as they move.
There was a small dog in front of this family group when this work was first placed but its now gone!
This final image is one of my favourites because it raises so many questions. Where is the woman whose head is by the tiger? Or has the tiger just eaten her? What music is the musician playing? And I love the way the man’s head is overing over his body in possible shock.
What an amazing treasure hunt this has been. Thank you so much Pablo Delgado for placing these works so beautifully. I’ve found 25 scenes and little people altogether.
And until the 25th November, you can see Pablo Delgado’s work in a group exhibition called ‘Stick em up‘ at the Well Hung gallery in Hoxton.