Like so much great art, Walter Martin’s was born from a lack of snow. The artist grew up in Norfolk, Virginia, where blizzards just don’t happen. But now he and his wife and collaborator Paloma Muñoz live in Pennsylvania on the edge of a forest, where the snow sometimes falls fast and thick, and they meld what they see there with their somewhat twisted sensibilities to comment on the human condition inside their little snow globes.
The pair have been married for 23 years and making custom snow globes together for 15. Inside their globes, something is usually askew. A man on stilts wavers above hungry wolves. A moose assists with laundry. A woman who may be the queen of England grips what looks like an assault rifle.
“Imagine a world full of stories and the camera goes in and just picks up this little fragment in time, a little moment,” says Muñoz. “That’s what the globes are. They are samples of the larger world that becomes alive when you shake it.”