Michael Paul Smith is the perfect example of an artist with a passion for what he does. For the last 25 years, he has spent some of his spare and much of his professional time making miniature models and photographing them, creating a gallery of vintage car photographs from a fictional 1950s American town called Elgin Park.
As a professional model maker, Smith’s models are detailed enough to withstand the scrutiny of close-up photography. Smith places them in miniature dioramas and uses forced perspective to make parts of the real world lend his pictures additional realism. The result is a quirky sort of historical fiction – faithfully and authentically reproduced scenes from a small American town that never actually happened (but could have).
What’s also great about his Elgin Park collection is that the magician is willing to reveal his secrets. Smith’s Flickr gallery often pairs his brilliant illusions with a picture that breaks their carefully arranged perspective and reveals how he managed to blend reality and his imagined history. His pictures are an excellent example of how art can be used to fool the eyes.
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