Alberto Almarza creates worlds. This past weekend, he created a world for visionary artists in Pittsburgh to put forth their work and ideas by starting a local Visionary Arts Festival.
Of the artists I had not seen before, it was Alberto (the organizer), whose work excited me most. He displayed his handmade view boxes with miniature dioramas inside. He calls these "visionary chambers."
Through viewfinder-like lenses, we peered into little boxes to discover tiny rooms. The interiors, exaggerated by the lenses, became three dimensional with startling depth. The interiors of the view boxes were all handmade by Alberto-- a figure working within a mysterious lab with insects, and miniature museums with tiny replicas of famous paintings including Starry Night and Guernica, each painted meticulously by hand with a 2-haired brush under a magnifying glass. Expertly crafted, fun and playful.
Here is a link to a wonderful video where you can experience one of his "visionary chambers" called "The Insect Maker": http://www.vimeo.com/1245713 At the festival, he told us this one was the one we must see.