A Diorama is a
model, representing a scene with three-dimensional
models and figures,
either in miniature or as a large-scale museum exhibit.
"Il Presepio” (Presepe, pl) - is a classic Neopolitan Christmas Nativity scene, consisting of hand
crafted miniature figures and animals in a realistic setting; a diorama. This Italian tradition dates
all the way back to St. Francis of Assisi, who commissioned the first presepio in the 13th century.
I see myself as a direct decedent of this tradition of Italian craftsmen, carrying on the building of
miniature dioramas, although not using a religious theme. My dioramas usually depict the early
20th Century, and the theme is Industrial, focusing on the daily lives of everyday workers and
their surroundings. Below is some of my recent work...
Takes an Evening Ride
Vespa Repair Shop
This diorama is an enlarged and re-built version of the "Vespa Tune-Up" shown below. I started with a much larger
base, and added a building front, a corner fence, and a whole bunch of details from other scooter models
I had. I think that it looks a lot better, and garnered a lot of "Wow" comments. It was clearly the favorite of the
crowds at a recent Art Show. Built July, 2017
La Strada, Senza Uscita
This is an Italian street scene, set in a "low-income" area, perhaps in 1950's Naples. A serious game of checkers is
the focus here. It is being watched by "Nonna" (grandma) on her balcony. Otto watches leaning against the street light.
1" scale, about 16"W X 12" D. Street Lights and building are lighted. Made from Styrofoam, plastic, brass, wire, etc.
Figures sculpted by me. Balcony railing and lights made by Antonio Malacario in Naples. Built 2015-16.
Il Caffe - Bar
This Diorama shows a scene in an Italian Coffee Bar in the 1920's. The Espresso Machine is a vintage model, and the figure sitting on the right is a portrait of my father, Pasquale. Most of the diorama was made by me, but a few things (cups, saucers, stove) were made from kits. The scale (as are most of my dioramas) is 1" per foot. Built, 2015
This Diorama is an earlier version of the "Vespa Repair Shop" seen above. It is focused on the details of the models.Vinnie, the amateur outdoor mechanic, works on tuning a customer's scooter, while the owner looks on.
This diorama is based around an inexpensive diecast toy scooter. It was stripped of paint and disassembled, and then rebuilt and detailed, especially the engine. The figures are my own sculptures, and some of the hand tools are commercial items. Built, 2016
This diorama was inspired by a sketch from Ian McCue, a concept artist. It depicts a future time and place , including levitating versions fo our vehicles. The model again started with a toy scooter, with a new jet engine and a custom driver. Built, 2016
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