Adam Makarenko – Exoplanets

  • Nov. 15, 2021 - Jan. 28, 2022, 8:00 am US/Central


Virtual Gallery Talk December 7, 7:30 CT free, registration required 



Artistic Statement

I construct miniature dioramas by hand and then photograph the sets.  From these constructed realities I am able to explore topics that would otherwise be impossible through conventional photography.  Photographing miniature models is unforgiving and prone to unwanted artifacts, but it’s these small incongruent details that end up giving the image a unique tangible quality.  I strive to create a sense of immediacy within the image that instantly transports the viewer to another place.


My newest body of work entitled Exoplanets is comprised of one thousand planetary models that are photographed.  The number of exoplanets discovered to date is over four thousand, with some being potentially habitable, yet unreachable due to the vast distances of space. It’s this paradoxical aspect of exoplanets that I find so fascinating – that we can’t get there in a reasonable amount of time through our current understanding of physics. This makes the planets feel like far-flung disjointed memories, because they are out of sync with our reality – even though they exist. Although the final work is refined, the creation of the planets is a very experimental process and never feels complete.  This project ended up being an artistic study into the depths of my own imagination, and it represents a testament to the vast reality beyond us.


I’ve always been interested in nature and the universe, especially in relation to what’s behind the curtain of reality.   My work mainly focuses on the unseen, and unreachable with a strong aesthetic emphasis on the sublime.



I am a miniature photography-based artist from Toronto, Ontario Canada.

My miniature photography work began in 2006 when I started to make models and dioramas of miniature bees and apiaries.  During that time I was awarded American Photo of The Year from American Photo magazine, and The Bright Spark award from the Magenta Foundation.  I’ve been making/photographing miniatures ever since.

I am currently collaborating with the W. M. Keck Observatory (Hawaii), conceptualizing exoplanets they have verified or discovered.  Working with scientists has expanded the way I look at things, and the way I challenge myself as an artist.  This collaboration has enabled me to approach the miniature work in new ways that I would have never considered in the past.


To view more of Adam Makarenko’s artwork