Matthew Albanese’s fascination with film, special effects, and movie magic—the mechanics behind these illusions—began early. Born in northern New Jersey in 1983, Albanese spent a peripatetic childhood moving between New Jersey and upstate New York. An only child, Albanese enjoyed imaginative, solitary play. He loved miniatures and created scenarios intricately set with household objects and his extensive collection of action figures. After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography at the State University of New York, Purchase, Albanese worked as a fashion photographer, training his lens on bags, designer shoes and accessories—this small-object specialization is known in the retail trade as “table top photography.” Albanese’s creative eye soon turned to tabletop sets of a more wildly eclectic nature. In 2008, a spilled canister of paprika inspired him to create his first mini Mars landscape. More minute dioramas made of spices, food and found objects followed. In 2011, Albanese was invited to show at the Museum of Art and Design of New York. His work has also been exhibited at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Winkleman Gallery, and Muba, Tourcoing France. Matthew is represented by Benrubi Gallery in New York.