Paprika Mars, cotton clouds

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Matthew Albanese makes miniature dioramas out of everyday materials and photographs them, producing Uncanny Valley landscapes that seem almost, but not quite, real. His Paprika Mars, above, is made of 12 pounds of charcoal and spices (paprika, cinnamon, nutmeg, chili powder). Fields, After the Storm, below, is mostly faux fur and cotton.

Albanese's scenes are convincing precisely because they're so paradigmatic - the standard desolate planetary surface, Western grassland, etc. His work exploits our cognitive tendencies to interpret stimuli against the backdrop of our experience, especially when it comes to conventional perspective.

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Via Behance, at the suggestion of reader Jake. Thanks!

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Wow! That is amazing. Paprika Mars is blowing my mind.