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Matthew Albanese Creates Dramatic Landscapes Out of Ordinary Items

New Jersey-based artist Matthew Albanese creates astonishingly detailed small-scale miniatures landscapes out of ordinary household items such as spices, cotton, colored paper, ink and glasses. He then photographs them using forced perspective techniques to create stunning landscapes you wouldn’t believe if I tell you were created in his living room. From grassy fields, to tornadoes and volcanoes - Matthew Albanese has done it all.



Diorama made from wood, moss, yellow glitter, clear garbage bags, cooked sugar, scotch-brite pot scrubbers, bottle brushes, clipping from a bush in bloom (white flowers) clear thread, sand, tile grout (coloring), wire, paper and alternating yellow, red and orange party bulbs.



"DIY Paradise". Created using cotton, salt, cooked sugar, tin foil, feathers & canvas.



Ingredients: 25 pounds of sugar cooked at varying temperatures (hard crack & pulled sugar recipes) It's basically made out of candy. salt, egg whites, corn syrup, cream of tartar, powdered sugar, blue food coloring, India ink & flour.



"Everything We Ever Were" It took two months to store up enough fireplace ash to create this lunar landscape.  The darker rocks are made of mixed tile grout, flag crumpled paper & wire. The Earth is a video still projected onto the wall.  Inspired by the Apollo 11 mission.


Tornado made of steel wool, cotton, ground parsley and moss


Paprika Mars. Made out of 12 pounds paprika, cinnamon, nutmeg, chili powder and charcoal



Volcano, "Breaking Point", made out of tile grout, cotton, phosphorous ink. This model volcano was illuminated from within by 6-60 watt light bulbs.


Aurora Borealis. This one was made by photographing a beam of colored light against a black curtain to achieve the edge effect. The trees were composited from life ( so far the only real life element in any of these images) The stars are simply strobe light through holes in cork board.


After the Storm

The field landscape is made out of faux fur for the field, cotton for the clouds and sifted tile grout for the mountains. Shifting the white balance created the lighting effect