June 17: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier

The *enfant terrible* of French fashion gets his first retrospective


While going online offers the most routine gateway to virtual reality, peering into tiny handmade dioramas, it turns out, can also be a portal to strange universes. “Otherworldly: Optical Delusions and Small Realities,” on view at New York’s Museum of Arts and Design (June 7 to September 18), gathers the work of 37 artists and artist teams who create hyper-convincing scenes on a Lilliputian scale—either as stand-alone sculptures or as models to be shot. If you think “little” means cute, look closely. David Opdyke’s piece installed upside down on the lobby ceiling shows Columbus Circle being washed away to sea. Frank Kunert’s mordantly humorous photograph has a highway abutting a playground slide that would deposit children directly into oncoming traffic. “There is a very peculiar psychological reaction that you almost can’t help having when you see these miniature pieces,” says David McFadden, the museum’s chief curator. “Your mind transposes you into that space, or that space becomes as large as you are.”

Photo: Courtesy Of Alan Wolfson And Museum Of Arts And Design