Lori Nix and dioramas

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Lori Nix (1969), sculptor, miniaturist and photographer.

She graduated from Truman State University where she studied ceramics, and photography. She went on to study photography at the graduate level at Ohio University, and moved to New York in 1999.

Nix considers herself a “faux landscape photographer,” and her work is influenced by extreme weather and disaster films. She works without digital manipulation, using miniatures and models to create surreal scenes and landscapes, building dioramas that range from 20 inches to six feet in diameter. They take several months to build, and two to three weeks to photograph, using a large format 8 × 10 film camera. Nix works with her partner Kathleen Gerber, a trained glass artist, at home in Brooklyn, NY, constructing most of the scenery by hand from scratch, using “foam and glue and paint and anything else handy.” After the final photograph is made, Nix harvests the diorama for pieces for future use and then destroys it. Nix and Gerber also design and fabricate sets for video.

Devoid of people, these spaces become meditative and full of possibilities. The details in the buildings seem more pronounced and it is these details that point back to the humans who created them. Not merely structures to protect us from wind and rain, they are examples of man’s creativity, skill, and ambition. Beauty and design marry with function to create something greater than the sum of its parts. The viewer is drawn into the scene, allowing them to become fully immersed by the architecture and artifacts of the modern world.

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