Incredible Pop Culture-Inspired Graphite Matchbook Miniatures

Some of Jason D’Aquino’s drawings are only one inch by one inch in dimension. While some of you might find the idea of creating something so tiny absolutely masochistic, D’Aquino excels at it — and we’re damn impressed. Jason’s graphite miniature artworks are incredibly detailed and amazing to behold. The artist works exclusively on vintage matchbooks, which he gleans from estate sales, flea markets and antique shops. We’d like to believe that D’Aquino has superhuman eyeballs, but he admitted that high magnification goggles help his process along. He also sometimes uses a single hair brush, which makes us squirm with frustration just thinking about it. Usually Jason works on four to six pieces at a time, taking a few days to complete them if he takes few breaks (no easy task).

So, why the matchbooks? D’Aquino finds the nostalgic material “common, but charming” and appreciates the built-in scale reference, providing instant proof of his miniaturization mastery. (Show off.) His pop culture subject matter (Marilyn Monroe, Black Dahlia, Belushi, and more) also centers the work on a certain moment in history, figure, or time period — bringing the whole sentiment full circle.

You can peek at D’Aquino’s work in person at Los Angeles’ famous La Luz de Jesus Gallery in a show that opens June 1. He’ll also be sharing work at Art Basel (Switzerland) this summer. Check out Jason’s amazing miniature drawings — many which have never been exhibited before — in our gallery below.

Image credit: Jason D’Aquino