Known as a “real-life Geppetto,” Jim McKenzie is a New York-based artist who likes to create whimsical characters through sculpting, painting, and drawing.

While his pieces do have a surreal quality about them, they are also incredibly intricate and life-life.

A short film called “The Scarecrow,” which documents the incredible and painstaking process McKenzie goes through to create one of his characters, has recently gone viral – within one week it was viewed 20 million times – and launched him into Internet fame.

The scarecrow sculpture was created as part of a gallery show featuring McKenzie’s work called “Lost Magic.” The artist described the show as “an exhibition for those who have lost touch with the magic this world has to offer and for those who can still see it.”

His work blends surrealism with sarcasm and humor. In discussing the show, McKenzie described his characters as “candy-coated misfits with a glimmer of despair beneath the shell.”

“There’s a lot of personal sarcasm within the pieces ,” he said.” I try to have fun with my work, keep things meaningful, but not take it too serious.” Case in point: his scarecrow character’s worried expression alludes to an “ironic phobia of crows.”

While some may describe his characters as weird, or perhaps even a bit creepy, what is undeniable is this artist’s incredible talent. Watching him painstakingly carve out the design in the scarecrow’s tiny shoe and texture his hat with burlap gives the viewer insight into just how intricate and difficult the process truly is.

Watch him take the scarecrow from a simple sketch to an incredibly life-like art piece by clicking on the video below:

The Scarecrow – Jim McKenzie from Jim McKenzie on Vimeo.

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