The artists Walter Martin (1953 Norfolk, VA, US—Milford, PA, US) and Paloma Muñoz (1965 Madrid, ES—Milford, PA, US), who have been partners in life and work since 1993, have risen to renown with photographs and sculptures showing surreal landscape dioramas featuring absurd and bizarre scenes.
Lilliputian worlds executed with meticulous and loving attention to detail unfold inside snow globes as the smallest form of the diorama: an icy, eerily beautiful wilderness of snowy mountains, blocks of ice, mysterious bodies of water, and dead trees in which human figures are stranded in often hopeless predicaments. Disconcerting interactions and calamities that are about to strike or have already occurred reveal the precariousness and dark sides of human relationships and psychology. Nostalgia and sentimentality—the emotional register typically associated with the snow globe—turn the kitschy souvenir into the stage of a very dark humor.
While working on these pieces, the artists have also created numerous ensembles whose common denominator is the conjunction of contemplative landscapes with issues of the day and art-historical references. Ostensibly idylls challenge us to look closely. The exhibition presents selected sculptures, photographs, and installations for a multifaceted voyage into Martin and Muñoz's dystopian universe.