Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lori Nix: Unnatural History and Other Worlds

In talking about photography, I most often say that I like pictures of people. And mostly, the same goes for paintings. But, as in most things, there are oftentimes exceptions and the photographs of Lori Nix are a huge one. I was first introduced to her work via a facebook link posted by the always interesting Artistic Director of Art House. I was instantly intrigued and spent a lot of time with them.

There aren't any people in them at all, and Nix has said in interviews that one of her great influences are the Hudson River School of landscape painters and, in a way, it shows. When I first saw her photographs I couldn't quite figure out what I was looking at. They were from her series "The City", in which we see strange, long abandoned urban scenes in which trees and other foliage have grown back. I didn't understand where they were taken, or how she found these remarkable scenes to photograph.

Lori Nix's wonderful settings aren't found, they are made. She creates them herself, on tabletops. She then lights them and doesn't use any digital manipulation at all. They are perfect and melancholy and exquisite. There are landscapes and interiors and insects. She shares some of my personal obsessions, as do many of the artists I feature here - the conflict between the natural world and the structures of men; museums and toy theaters of all sorts.

I both want to know how she makes everything and I don't. Am I the only one who wants her to branch out into animation? Maybe I'm wrong, maybe the power of her images comes from their silence and stillness. Qualities rare indeed in our noisy and over-stimulated world.

All photographs are the property of Lori Nix. If you are interested in purchasing her work, contact ClampArt. (Pssst: Wealthy admirers, I have birthday coming up, you know)

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