Macabre Miniature Narratives In Acrylic Bubbles

macabre dioramas by abigail goldman

Abigail Goldman has a sick sense of humor. And people love it. Her handmade “Die-O-ramas” are miniature narratives in which grisly murders of all types have taken place. Last March she showed 50 pieces of her macabre work at SPOKE NYC in an exhibit titled Wishful Thinking.

Die-O-ramas by Abigail Goldman

Die-O-ramas by Abigail Goldman
Abigail Goldman, Smoke Break, detail

Not the first artist to take tiny figurines and turn them into gruesome little murderers, artists Martin and Muñoz have been doing similar work with their Traveler Series for years, only in the form of Snow globes and photographs.

Abigail Goldman, Minor Dispute, assorted plastics and materials, 8″x8″x8″

Abigail has a variation in her die-o-ramas. Some are 8′ square tabletop pieces with architectural miniatures that feel like they were plucked out of the TV series Fargo. They are beautiful and detailed and priced at $1500 each. In addition to those, she has created several in those acrylic wall-mounted bubbles designed for beta fish. Some in the 6.5″ diameter size (priced at $550 a piece) and the others in the smaller 4.5″ diameter size (priced at a more affordable $450 a piece).

Abigail Goldman, Check Please, assorted plastics, acrylic paint, 8″ x 8″ x 8″

Here’s a look at several of the 4.5″ diameter works from the Wishful Thinking Die-O-Ramas by Abigail Goldman:

Bad Babysitter:

Light Snack:

Mommy Knows Best:

Clean Hands, Clean Home:


First Things First:

Quick Snip:

So Romantic:

Some of her pieces have already sold, but several are still available. See all the pieces from the show here

The gallery has this to say about the show:
SPOKE NYC is pleased to present “Wishful Thinking”, a new solo exhibition by Washington based miniature artist Abigail Goldman. Featuring dozens of her notable small-scale sculptures, “Wishful Thinking” is a continuation of Goldman’s on-going ‘dieorama’ series. Each free standing sculpture is an insular world unto itself, featuring a variety of narratives but all circling the same theme – murder.

Abigail Goldman, Dinner Party, 4.5″ diameter

Her subjects, although less than an inch high, are aggressive, vindictive and bottom-line homicidal, although one would not guess it based on their provincial appearance. Goldman’s environments range from picturesque suburban settings to objectionable street corners and alley ways, littered with graffiti and trash. Each work encapsulates the precipice of these gruesome murders, allowing viewers to speculate on motive and implication. Working for years as a crime reporter at the Las Vegas Sun and later as an Investigator for the Federal Public Defender of Nevada, Goldman definitely has explored her darker side in both her work as an artist but also professionally in her career.

Abigail Goldman, Keep A Lawyer on Speed Dial, assorted plastics, acrylic paint, 8″ x 8″ x 8″

Although grim in nature, Goldman’s miniature worlds do contain humorous elements. Small details like a rogue character urinating behind a trashcan or a couple figures frantically trying to paint over an impossibly large amount of blood. These kind of subtle ironies create a conflicting experience for the viewer, in addition to the already contrary feelings they present . The artist elaborates “Because my work is so small, people are forced to lean in close or crane their necks to see what’s happening within. I always enjoy seeing people hunched over a dieorama suddenly reel backwards when they realize there’s a tiny murder under the glass – it’s a very physical reaction, craning forward and then jutting upright and then leaning in for a closer look. I think because dieoramas are unapologetically violent and gory, people feel comfortable sharing their dark and disturbing thoughts with me. My most memorable example: A school teacher who requested a yellow school bus full of children crashed into a ravine.”

See the full show here

Abigail Goldman