The image featured in Made in China is already famous in its own right, shot by photographer Robert Capa, and appearing as the cover image of Life Magazine back in 1938. There’s more to this magical creation than a larger-than-life painting or photograph, however, as the Chinese soldier is actually made up of over 5,500 individual objects.
Joe Black isn’t new to this type of artwork, claiming that “if it’s small enough, I’ll stick it down”. Where most artists would stick to more conventional objects or materials when creating a mosaic, Black has been particularly inventive, using thousands of tiny toy soldiers to make up the image. The soldiers themselves are made in China (bet you didn’t see that coming!), and are glued to the artwork, allowing it to be displayed vertically.
In order to give things an even more photo-realistic sheen, Black has used a range of different coloured toy soldiers – complete in a host of different poses, from advancing on the enemy, to crouching and shooting. The artist has also attacked the miniature marvels with an airbrush, allowing Black to get the exact shades needed to recreate shadows and highlights.
Despite having the look of a black and white photograph, Made in China is surprisingly rich in colour, with pinks, purples, yellows, greens and other hues all thrown into the mix. The result has a 3D edge to it that really brings it to life, and we feel that true lovers of art can’t fail but to appreciate Black’s hard work.