Stunning Landscapes Are Actually Built in a Fish Tank

They may look like some of the most beautiful places on Earth, but they are actually miniature topographies of fictitious environments, built in a large fish tank, by New-York-based artist Kim Keever.

The pictures below look a lot like traditional paintings, but the process in which they are created is anything but traditional. In a era when technology allows artists to create large-scale works with a few clicks of a mouse, Kim Keever chooses to construct his surreal landscapes by hand. Using hand-crafted plaster molds, various found objects, color pigments and lighting, he manages to create realistic worlds captured with a large-format camera. Keever places his dioramas inside a 200-gallon fish tank, fills it with water, arranges the lighting and adds pigments at just the right moment, before trying to take the perfect picture. Although he uses a digital darkroom to emphasize color and tone, his photographs are unaltered in the process.

Kim Keever’s handmade masterpieces look plausible at first glance, but the more you look at them the more you realize the over-saturated clouds and thick fog create an eerie, haunted atmosphere that is most certainly the creation of someone’s rich imagination.  His stunning landscapes remind me of the similar works of Matthew Albanese who also builds realistic dioramas using household objects.

Originally a thermal engineer working mostly on NASA projects, Keever changed careers and became a full-time artist in the late 1970s. He retained a scientific and investigative process from his original profession, but also showed an astute awareness of historical landscape art.








Sources: David B. Smith Gallery, Charles Bank Gallery, New Art TV

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