(Above) Thomas Doyle: Displaced Persons, Mixed media, 7.5 x 15.75 inches diameter; 2008
(Above) Thomas Doyle: Displaced Persons (detail), Mixed media, 7.5 x 15.75 inches diameter; 2008
(Above) Thomas Doyle: Displaced Persons (detail), Mixed media, 7.5 x 15.75 inches diameter; 2008
(Above) Thomas Doyle: Displaced Persons (detail), Mixed media, 7.5 x 15.75 inches diameter; 2008
(Above) Thomas Doyle: Displaced Persons (detail), Mixed media, 7.5 x 15.75 inches diameter; 2008
(Above) Thomas Doyle: Working Sketch
(Above) Thomas Doyle, 2006, Acceptable Losses (detail), mixed media, 16” x 13 1/2” x 13 1/2”
(Above) Thomas Doyle, 2006, Acceptable Losses, mixed media, 16” x 13 1/2” x 13 1/2”
(Above) Thomas Doyle, 2006, Null Cipher, mixed media, 14” x 13 3/4” x 13 3/4”
(Above) Thomas Doyle, 2007, As You Were, mixed media, 12 1/2” x 14” x 14”
(Above) Thomas Doyle, 2007, As You Were (detail), mixed media, 12 1/2” x 14” x 14”

I HAVE ALWAYS ENJOYED LOOKING AT ARCHITECTURAL SCALE MODELS. ARTIST THOMAS DOYLE TAKES THE ART several steps farther in his art work, representing uncomfortable nightmarish situations for “Mister Roger’s neighborhoods.” Doyle’s work, though in 3-D, shares an affinity to the photographs of Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison—both create surreal situations for man that are trapped within dreams and human memory. Most often, Doyle centers his upside down world around the home, for it is home where we all find shelter, comfort and safety. What could be more disconcerting than returning home to find your house sinking, hanging off the edge of a cliff or the entire house, windows and all— painted black? Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, or sadly, post-Katrina victims—all of these miniature scenarios find us (the viewer) peering safely in from outside the glass, watching the nightmare unfold.

But you would be best served by reading a statement by the artist himself, who lives and works in Brooklyn.


“My work mines the debris of memory through the creation of intricate worlds sculpted in 1:43 scale and smaller. Often sealed under glass, the works depict the remnants of things past— experiences frozen and distorted by a warped and dreamlike lens. As a child, I spent hours peering into museum dioramas, building shoebox dollhouses, and laboring over military models. After years of feeling limited by traditional media, I cast about for a better fit… and somehow ended up back where I started. The pieces’ radically reduced scales evoke feelings of omnipotence—as well as the visceral sensation of unbidden memory recall. Hovering above the glass, the viewer approaches these worlds as an all-seeing eye, looking down upon landscapes that dwarf and threaten the figures within.

Conversely, the private intensity of moments rendered in such a small scale draws the viewer in, allowing for the intimacy one might feel peering into a museum display case or dollhouse. Though surrounded by chaos, hazard, and longing, the figures’ faces betray little emotion, inviting viewers to lose themselves in these crucibles—and in the jumble of feelings and memories they elicit.

The glass itself contains and compresses the world within it, seeming to suspend time itself— with all its accompanying anguish, fear, and bliss. By sealing the works in this fashion, I hope to distill the debris of human experience down to single, fragile moments. Like blackboxes bobbing in the flotsam, these works wait for discovery, each an indelible record of human memory.” - Thomas Doyle

All images © Thomas Doyle

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