I Hear This Gallery of Oil Paintings Inside a Woman’s Ear Is Gross Yet Fascinating

Artist Joe Sola is exhibiting some very tiny paintings in an unlikely and not-a-little gross setting for a gallery: the inside of a woman’s ear.

Recently, Banksy made the streets of New York into one big, sprawling art gallery. Another artist, however, has apparently decided to go the opposite route by setting an exhibition of his work into perhaps the smallest possible venue–a microscopic one, actually.


Starting October 12th, artist Joe Sola will be exhibiting his impressively tiny oil paintings in an unlikely and not-a-little gross place for such a thing: the inside of gallerist Tif Sigfrids’s ear. A total of six miniature oil on styrene portraits are to be “hung” in Sigfrid’s ear canal gap while she sits at a desk in her eponymous gallery, presumably near a bunch of onlookers who are equally awestruck and horrified.

Portraits: An Exhibition in Tif Sigfrids’s Ear is a tongue-in-cheek venture, as visitors will doubtful be able to get much of a look at the painting without an otoscope. This approach is in sync, though, with Sola’s previous work, which has found him jumping out of a window, being run over by an Ohio high school football team, and riding rollercoasters with porn stars.

Sola explained his process to Art in America: “… The six paintings in the exhibition are all around 4/64 by 5/64 inches, and they were painted using a stereo microscope. I had to build my own brushes that could handle such small amounts of paint; single bristles and hairs were far too large. I ended up using a .12-millimeter acupuncture needle, which is the smallest acupuncture needle available. That needle narrows down to a point that was still too large to paint with so I sanded that tip, under the microscope, to an even narrower point to construct the tool I needed.”

The exhibit is being shown at Sigrids’s gallery in Hollywood through November 9th, but you can have a look at the paintings in the slides above.