Photography Figurines

There are numerous photography figurines from different artists and various collectible brands. Here is a modest variety of very memorable artworks that have photography as its theme, although the artists do not specialize in photographic subject matter. From comic to serious the moods vary with each photographic piece. These artworks are scattered about on the internet rather than found under a common banner.

One such artist is Guillermo Forchino (1952) who was born in Argentina and lives in France. He lives in Paris with his studio next to the famed Pere Lachaise cemetery. Since the 1980’s, Forchino experimented with different materials in creation of his artwork. In the end he chose polyresins to create his figurines resembling comic strips and cartoon characters. He began offering his artwork in partnership (2003) with VMM (Netherlands) under the name “The Comic Art of Guillermo Forchino”. These reproductions are handmade and hand painted, often in the same size as the originals, as limited editions in numbered series. In the Professionals series we have The Photographer. (

In the late 1960’s, Michael Ricker (1940-2006) started Ricker-Bartlett in Estes Park, Colorado. He produced pewter jewelry and sculpture using new molding and casting techniques taught to him by Norb Bartlett. Ricker-Bartlett began selling Pewter PeeWees, small pewter animal figurines which featured chubby-faced anthropomorphized animals, young children and newly hatched tiny animals. In 1975, in honor of the nation’s bicentennial he started his masterpiece Park City, a 30 foot by 10 foot miniature town depicting life at the turn of the 19th century. It was completed in 1986 and presented to former President Gerald Ford at a gala event in Denver. Featured among the work’s more than 470 pieces are a carousel, a town hall, a circus parade and a riverboat. Park City became the foundation for Michael’s Museum and Gallery in Estes Park, which opened to a gala event in 1993. (Martin).

Rochard Limoges (1973) is not an artist’s name but a brand name for hand painted porcelain Limoges boxes from Limoges, France. They claim to be the first to add removable art objects from inside their boxes. Most of these boxes are small, usually less than three inches to a side. The Rochard Limoges Camera with Film & Photo box is hand painted by foremost artists using many of the same techniques that were used during their introduction in the 17th century. (Rochard Limoges).

You can easily find photography themes in figurines made of different materials. In style they range from serious to comical. Some tend to be mass produced to some extant while others are one of a kind handmade. They also range in size from less than three inches to a side up to over twelve inches tall. A large collection would seem eclectic when you display the pieces together.

The Comic Art of Guillermo Forchino

“City” carved sculptor’s niche

Rochard Limoges

Jo Babcock as an Inventor Photographer

“You’ve made a mistake. I don’t want to be an artist. I want to be a photographer!”          Jo Babcock

Jo Babcock - Headshot  I recently read a fascinating photography book by Jo Babcock called, “The Invented Camera, Low Tech Photography & Sculpture.” It doubles as photography and sculpture since this inventor made his own pinhole cameras out of found objects. Then he took photos that matched the theme of the camera. It is quite an innovative double photographic subject. He even turned a van into a large format camera. There is a video of this van in action from November 2008. Just click the link below.

VW Van Camera by Jo Babcock

Jo and his friend converted an old Volkswagen Beetle van into a portable large format camera. “We blocked out the windows, side doors area to hold the pinhole aperture and built a double, light baffle into the back hatch so we could set the camera up, pin the light sensitive paper to the far wall, Our aperture was too small and the exposures usually took four hours but we did get a couple of color, negative prints to work.” (Malone). During the 1980s, Babcock got deeply involved in large scale photographic projects.

San Francisco in the early ‘80s was roaring with performance, installation and conceptual art. (Malone). “In 1986, I got a bright idea and with a buddy, I organized and produced a huge, multi-site show called, The HOTEL PROJECT. About sixty artists participated at an old hotel in West Oakland.” (Malone). Each had their own room to produce whatever art they wanted. This is also when he started using suitcases converted to pinhole cameras and photographing motels. He continued this trend by converting old objects into pinhole cameras. For instance, he converted an old log cabin syrup tin into a camera and took a picture of a log cabin. This accumulated into a body of work that eventually led to his book The Invented Camera (2005).

The Invented Camera - Low Tech Photography and Sculoture - Jo Babcock - 2005

Log Cabin - Jo Babcock

Catching Light :: Making Cameras with Artist Jo Babcock

Jo Babcock Photography