For me David Levinthal is the US equivalent of Henk Tas in the Netherlands. Age difference is only 1 year and both have developed their photography into a form of staged photography where both use little ( plastic) figurines to populate their photographs. Where Levinthal uses baseball , barbie and military figures, Tas uses animals and female figures in a setting strongly influenced by music. http://www.henktas.nl/home.php?kid=1
If you read the text on Wikipedia on Levinthal you realize that these photographs are not made in an easy way. Setting, staging and lightning all need to be perfect for a good photograph.Here is part of what Wikipedia says about Levinthal
His work is included in the permanent public collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. He has had solo exhibitions in New York City, Los Angeles, and Portland, Oregon.
Levinthal has produced a diverse oeuvre, utilizing primarily large-format Polaroid photography. His works touch upon many aspects of American culture, from Barbie to baseball to X-rated dolls. He uses small toys and props with dramatic lighting to construct mini environments of subject matters varying from war scenes to voyeurism to racial and political references to American pop culture.
He creates miniature scenarios using shoeboxes, cardboard, and foam core to make miniature offices, hotel rooms, pool halls, foyers and narrow corridors. These shadowy and dark scenes expose the secrecy and intimacy of small spaces. Levinthal is particularly interested in exploring the different emotions that each scene produces, such as reactions to an office corridor in contrast to those to a hospital or a private bedroom. Indeed, there is an inherently voyeuristic aspect to these early works.
I love both artists and can offer a nice original by Henk Tas in a private sale. For the books on these artists visit www.ftn-books.com where there is the best book on Tas available and the highly collectable Smithsonian catalogue on Levinthal’s photographs.