Upon first seeing Lori Nix’s photographs, you might think she must have an unbelievable knack for scoping out interesting places in various states of destruction and decay. But look a little closer. These places aren’t real at all. They are tiny apocalyptic scenes of the artist’s own making.
This Brooklyn-based artist designs and creates a miniature diorama for each scene, always keeping in mind the angle from which the scene will eventually be shot. The tiny models can take up to seven months to complete and two weeks to shoot. The photos are reproduced at a large scale, so attention to even the minutest detail is crucial.
Why the images of destruction? Nix spent her childhood in rural Kansas, where natural disasters are a way of life. As a child, she remembers the destruction as exciting, something new and unexpected breaking up the doldrums of every day life. She is also influenced by the Hudson River School for its characteristics of romanticism and The Sublime movement, which focused on an “evocation of profound emotion”.
There is something quite fascinating about these images of devastation, in the wonderment of what could have wreaked such chaos, whether natural disaster, human neglect or perhaps something more sinister and subversive.
In the deconstruction of the scenes, there is created a greater depth than there would be in an intact space. We are caught in the midst of a story, like beginning a dream in the middle of the action.
I first saw Lori’s work in ClampArt gallery in NYC in 2009 and it stayed with me. If you like it as much as I do, be sure to check out the artist’s website and Facebook page. If you’re in the Portland, OR area, her work can be seen at G. Gibson Gallery or in New York at ClampArt.
Featured image is Natural History 2005 by Lori Nix. All images are courtesty of the artist’s website.