Artist of the Day #59: Lori Nix

There is something playful about the work of Lori Nix that reminds viewers of 6th grade dioramas, but then there is certainly something sinister about the work that feels like it has slinked out of an episode of The Twilight Zone. With these two elements being so prevalent in her work, we are left with some interesting paradoxes. There is something precious and fragile about a tiny translucent deer sipping from a pond. Then you see that it is clear, not out of a touch of magic, but because it has been drinking from toxic waste infected waters, you begin to think twice about the meaning of the piece.

Throughout the body of Nix’s work she is dealing with some darker themes. One series The City, she imagines New York in a post natural disaster future. She shows natures triumph over our modern way of living. Perhaps it is a reminder that we don’t really need to watch our careless habits regarding the environment for nature’s sake, nature will be just fine, but if we’re not careful, we are the ones that are going to feel the whiplash.

One could definitely draw some parallels to another artist I wrote about a few weeks back, Slinkachu, as they are both dealing with a miniature world, but there are certainly some differences. Slinkachu deals with the relationship of a small world within a large one, Nix is attempting to create a small world all in its own right. She is creating every aspect of her photographs from the light source to the infinite backgrounds. Her pieces have a cinematic feel that instantly have one thinking about entire plots and the characters within it. Also, her work is different in that it can be enjoyed more easily in both the finished photograph and the finished installation. With Slinkachu, to see the original installation would be very difficult. Whether or not that makes the work of one more appealing than another might be more specific to the viewer.

Nix’s pieces have a cinematic feel that instantly have one thinking about entire plots and the characters within it. It makes you wonder if she wanted to be a set designer but just didn’t have the budget to work that big. It might seem tedious to work with a T-Rex skeleton that’s only 3 inches tall, but it would be just as tedious to come up with the several million it would cost to work with the real thing.