Lori Nix's 'The City': Dioramas Of Disaster

Dioramas Of Disaster

Artist Lori Nix constructs beautiful disasters. Her dioramas are realistic, scaled-down depictions of everyday locations taken over by nature or destruction. Her current, ongoing series "The City" explores the idea of a post-man world and the subsequent retaking over of nature.

"I have imagined a city of our future, where something either natural or as the result of mankind, has emptied the city of it's human inhabitants," Nix writes on her website. "These spaces are filled with flora, fauna and insects, reclaiming what was theirs before man's encroachment. I am afraid of what the future holds if we do not change our ways regarding the climate, but at the same time I am fascinated by what a changing world can bring."

Nix has been working on "The City" since 2005 and plans to continue the series for another three or four years. The dioramas range from 20 inches to almost six feet in diameter and take seven months to build and three weeks to photograph. Each scene is built inside her home in Brooklyn with the help of her partner Kathleen. Most of the dioramas are completely handmade. However for some, she builds the scene around a found object, like in the case of "Majestic" that was inspired by a miniature piano.

"My strength lies in my ability to build and construct my world rather than seek out an existing world," she writes on her website. "Inspiration comes from reading the daily newspaper The New York Times, science fiction paperbacks and magazine articles. I get most of my ideas during my morning subway commute from Brooklyn to Manhattan to go to my day job."

This inspiration to construct rather than recreate comes from a combination of influences, like growing up in natural disaster-ridden Kansas (tornado alley) while simultaneously watching "disaster flicks" similar to the natural disasters happening around her.

"I am fascinated, maybe even a little obsessed, with the idea of the apocalypse," she writes on her website. "I remember watching 'Towering Inferno,' 'Earthquake,' 'Planet of Apes' and sitting in awe in the dark. Here was the same type of dangers I had experienced day to day being magnified and played out on the big screen in a typical Hollywood way."


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