It’s ‘Un Petit Monde’ After All – Meet Kurt Moses & His Surprising Photography!

Como Conservatory, St. Paul, Minnesota © Kurt Moses

When I first watched, “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” I remember thinking, “Woah, if that ant is that big, how big must the whole world be?” In his mind-bending photography, Twin Cities raised photographer, Kurt Moses uses 1:87 scale figurines and places them in real-size surroundings. “Un Petit Monde” is Kurt and his wife, Edwige’s, look at the great big world from a lilliputian point of view. With meticulous attention to angles, lighting, and tools, Kurt, “create[s] a whole new world for them.”

Randolph & Wabash, Chicago, Illinois © Kurt MosesMoses’ dry sense of humor is foundational to his work. Many of his works deal with a whole lot of ordinary with the twist of extrodinary dinkiness. This changes everything about how you look at it.
One of his favorites? A tiny figurine waiting for a train in Chicago. Doesn’t something like a train running late feel like the crux of your day? As Moses points out, “It’s not really as big a deal as we think. It’s just a matter of perspective.” All of his shots are just that, a “matter of perspective,” but that fresh perspective opens our eyes to see the bigger picture.

Moses’ photographs have had a wide reach and recently he worked on a project for an unexpected partner – Disney. Kurt was invited to photograph Disney collectibles and use their character and personality to craft a shot featuring these mini-celebrities. He tackled countless challenges to get these shots, like the “Cars” stars Lightning McQueen and Holly Shiftwell at Times Square with real NY cabs and tourists surrounding them.

Moses’ humor came through in pairing the character’s strengths with their backstory in designing the photos. With Mr. Incredible, both his abilities and the fact that he is a family man led to his task: washing the family car. As Moses described, “He’s a family guy…washing a life-size car would be a huge feat for a little guy.” 

While the resulting shots are a perfect blending of the cartoon world and the real world, Moses still prefers working with the smaller HO scale figures because, “The larger the figure, the less of the world there is to put them in.”

He primarily works with Preiser figures from Germany. These high-quality figurines do not usually represent specific people. Yet we asked him if he could choose a real person to be a figurine in his photographs, who would he choose. He would want a figurine of his supportive wife. “Probably because it would be an inside joke, I would create my wife and put her in different situations because that is what would make myself laugh about a situation.”

Kurt and Edwige Moses © Kurt MosesIn fact, if it weren’t for his wife’s encouragement, he might not have quit his day job to pursue photography. She was working in an immersion school in St. Paul when she gave him the go ahead to “photograph toys for a living.” That support has launched them both into this new world of success and sharing these creative juxtapositions with the whole world.

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