Australian artist and miniaturist Joshua Smith gets his inspiration from an unlikely source: the deterioration of urban spaces. “I’ve always been inspired by decaying and abandoned old buildings,” he tells mental_floss. A former stencil artist and gallery director, Smith began making his detailed architectural models of gritty housing complexes, graffiti-covered stores, and dilapidated street corners around two years ago. Today, the artist's creations are exhibited in galleries and art fairs around the world, and are currently on display at New York City’s Muriel Guépin Gallery.

Many of Smith’s works are replicas of real-life buildings. (For example, his favorite miniature, called Temple Street, resembles an apartment block on Temple Street in Kowloon City, Hong Kong, according to Bored Panda.) They’re made from carved cardboard, fiberboard, and paint, and can take anywhere from four days to three months to complete. All "focus on the often overlooked aspects of the urban environment such as grime, rust, decay to discarded cigarettes and graffiti," Smith explains on his website.

Check out some of Smith's models below, or visit his website or Instagram to view even more mini-cityscapes.























All photos courtesy of Joshua Smith.

[h/t Bored Panda]