25 Nov 2010

Accidental Places: the Work of Lori Nix

(c) Lori Nix. 'Library', 2007
I recently came across a picture I really liked and after some fingertip research I found out it was 'Library' by Lori Nix, and there were many more in her collection that I really loved.

She's an American photographer and artist who builds and sculpts miniature scenes and landscapes and then photographs them. She encompasses a wide range of themes and places to which she adds a very atmospheric, forlorn quality, which really speaks to me. 

(c) Lori Nix. 'Laundromat', 2008
I was blown away when I found out that everything you see in her pictures has actually been created on a table top in front of the camera. She doesn't manipulate the images afterwards.

Lori Nix was born in Kansas, which is reflected in many of her earlier works. She is currently living and working in New York, and her art also seems to have moved indoors.

I like her more recent series most. It's called 'The City' and the pictures are clever and visionary, be it in an apocalyptic kind of way. They don't just tell you one story. Instead, they make you dream and wonder and come up with dozens of your own.

Here's what Lori herself had to say about how she builds and captures her work: 
"Currently it takes about seven months to build a scene and two to three weeks to shoot the final image. I build these in my Brooklyn living room. I have miniature power tools throughout the apartment, a chop saw under the kitchen table, a miniature table saw on top. The computer room doubles as a model mock-up room. There are two of us who work on them, myself and my partner Kathleen. We split the work according to our strengths. I come up with the concept, the color palette and the lighting scenarios. I build the structures out of extruded foam and glue and paint and anything else handy. Kathleen is trained as a glass artist, specializing in cast glass work. She can paint faux finishes and gild architectural details with gold leaf. After I'm done building the structure and painting it, she comes in and adds dirt and distresses the walls to make it look old and decrepit."
 - Lori Nix
Below are a few more favourites. Look at the variety in textures and the sheer detail of the work, and just imagine them as miniatures!

(c) Lori Nix. 'Botanic Garden', 2008

(c) Lori Nix. 'Museum of Art', 2005

(c) Lori Nix. 'Aquarium', 2007
(c) Lori Nix. 'Map Room', 2010


Thank you Lori for the kind photo permission!
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