Subway

Nix says that her scenes aren’t necessarily New York, but she has modeled her subway car scene on NYC’s B and D trains. She says it’s technically illegal to take pictures inside MTA trains, but Nix wanted to get the features and proportions just right--down the orange seats and the brushed stainless steel of the poles. She and her partner took the B train to the end of the line--Brighton Beach--and started taking pictures and measurements. The diorama (currently sitting in Nix’s apartment) is 25 inches wide and eight feet long. A scrubbed-out billboard to the left reads, “Take a Break from Life.” Perfect, since the car has been overrun by desert.

Subway

Nix says that her scenes aren’t necessarily New York, but she has modeled her subway car scene on NYC’s B and D trains. She says it’s technically illegal to take pictures inside MTA trains, but Nix wanted to get the features and proportions just right--down the orange seats and the brushed stainless steel of the poles. She and her partner took the B train to the end of the line--Brighton Beach--and started taking pictures and measurements. The diorama (currently sitting in Nix’s apartment) is 25 inches wide and eight feet long. A scrubbed-out billboard to the left reads, “Take a Break from Life.” Perfect, since the car has been overrun by desert.

Vacuum Showroom

The mess of scattered vacuum cords suggests that the vacuums were once sentient and having a big vacuum party when the power suddenly went out.

Vacuum Showroom

The mess of scattered vacuum cords suggests that the vacuums were once sentient and having a big vacuum party when the power suddenly went out.

Botanic Garden

Nix lives across the street from the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and she likes to imagine how nature would take over human spaces after humans are gone. “After a year of no one pruning plants, can you imagine how crazy hot houses would go? And what a paradise it would be?” she says. Nix snapped pictures of leaves around New York, Photoshopped them, and then attached wires to the print-outs to create stems. She also used dead leaves from her apartment.

Botanic Garden

Nix lives across the street from the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and she likes to imagine how nature would take over human spaces after humans are gone. “After a year of no one pruning plants, can you imagine how crazy hot houses would go? And what a paradise it would be?” she says. Nix snapped pictures of leaves around New York, Photoshopped them, and then attached wires to the print-outs to create stems. She also used dead leaves from her apartment.

Laundromat at Night

One of two rats is sitting up on his haunches and looking at the camera, in a Jim Hensony kind of way. This is Nix’s nod to a New York City Taco Bell/KFC that the Board of Health closed when they discovered rats running amok at night. “And it’s like jeez, I wish they’d closed it down before the rats,” Nix says.

Anatomy Classroom

Nix envisions what might happen to an abandoned school after the building is no longer temperature regulated. (See: peeling paint and warping wood.) Nix’s partner made the skulls and anatomy models out of Sculpey. The thyroid is a reference to Nix’s thyroid problems. The uterus is a nod to a friend’s recent trip to the gynecologist.

Anatomy Classroom

Nix envisions what might happen to an abandoned school after the building is no longer temperature regulated. (See: peeling paint and warping wood.) Nix’s partner made the skulls and anatomy models out of Sculpey. The thyroid is a reference to Nix’s thyroid problems. The uterus is a nod to a friend’s recent trip to the gynecologist.

Anatomy Classroom

Nix envisions what might happen to an abandoned school after the building is no longer temperature regulated. (See: peeling paint and warping wood.) Nix’s partner made the skulls and anatomy models out of Sculpey. The thyroid is a reference to Nix’s thyroid problems. The uterus is a nod to a friend’s recent trip to the gynecologist.

Anatomy Classroom

Nix envisions what might happen to an abandoned school after the building is no longer temperature regulated. (See: peeling paint and warping wood.) Nix’s partner made the skulls and anatomy models out of Sculpey. The thyroid is a reference to Nix’s thyroid problems. The uterus is a nod to a friend’s recent trip to the gynecologist.

Anatomy Classroom

Nix envisions what might happen to an abandoned school after the building is no longer temperature regulated. (See: peeling paint and warping wood.) Nix’s partner made the skulls and anatomy models out of Sculpey. The thyroid is a reference to Nix’s thyroid problems. The uterus is a nod to a friend’s recent trip to the gynecologist.

Anatomy Classroom

Nix envisions what might happen to an abandoned school after the building is no longer temperature regulated. (See: peeling paint and warping wood.) Nix’s partner made the skulls and anatomy models out of Sculpey. The thyroid is a reference to Nix’s thyroid problems. The uterus is a nod to a friend’s recent trip to the gynecologist.

Anatomy Classroom

Nix envisions what might happen to an abandoned school after the building is no longer temperature regulated. (See: peeling paint and warping wood.) Nix’s partner made the skulls and anatomy models out of Sculpey. The thyroid is a reference to Nix’s thyroid problems. The uterus is a nod to a friend’s recent trip to the gynecologist.

Anatomy Classroom

Nix envisions what might happen to an abandoned school after the building is no longer temperature regulated. (See: peeling paint and warping wood.) Nix’s partner made the skulls and anatomy models out of Sculpey. The thyroid is a reference to Nix’s thyroid problems. The uterus is a nod to a friend’s recent trip to the gynecologist.

Anatomy Classroom

Nix envisions what might happen to an abandoned school after the building is no longer temperature regulated. (See: peeling paint and warping wood.) Nix’s partner made the skulls and anatomy models out of Sculpey. The thyroid is a reference to Nix’s thyroid problems. The uterus is a nod to a friend’s recent trip to the gynecologist.

Anatomy Classroom

Nix envisions what might happen to an abandoned school after the building is no longer temperature regulated. (See: peeling paint and warping wood.) Nix’s partner made the skulls and anatomy models out of Sculpey. The thyroid is a reference to Nix’s thyroid problems. The uterus is a nod to a friend’s recent trip to the gynecologist.

Anatomy Classroom

Nix envisions what might happen to an abandoned school after the building is no longer temperature regulated. (See: peeling paint and warping wood.) Nix’s partner made the skulls and anatomy models out of Sculpey. The thyroid is a reference to Nix’s thyroid problems. The uterus is a nod to a friend’s recent trip to the gynecologist.

Anatomy Classroom

Nix envisions what might happen to an abandoned school after the building is no longer temperature regulated. (See: peeling paint and warping wood.) Nix’s partner made the skulls and anatomy models out of Sculpey. The thyroid is a reference to Nix’s thyroid problems. The uterus is a nod to a friend’s recent trip to the gynecologist.

Anatomy Classroom

Nix envisions what might happen to an abandoned school after the building is no longer temperature regulated. (See: peeling paint and warping wood.) Nix’s partner made the skulls and anatomy models out of Sculpey. The thyroid is a reference to Nix’s thyroid problems. The uterus is a nod to a friend’s recent trip to the gynecologist.

Anatomy Classroom

Nix envisions what might happen to an abandoned school after the building is no longer temperature regulated. (See: peeling paint and warping wood.) Nix’s partner made the skulls and anatomy models out of Sculpey. The thyroid is a reference to Nix’s thyroid problems. The uterus is a nod to a friend’s recent trip to the gynecologist.

Anatomy Classroom

Nix envisions what might happen to an abandoned school after the building is no longer temperature regulated. (See: peeling paint and warping wood.) Nix’s partner made the skulls and anatomy models out of Sculpey. The thyroid is a reference to Nix’s thyroid problems. The uterus is a nod to a friend’s recent trip to the gynecologist.

Anatomy Classroom

Nix envisions what might happen to an abandoned school after the building is no longer temperature regulated. (See: peeling paint and warping wood.) Nix’s partner made the skulls and anatomy models out of Sculpey. The thyroid is a reference to Nix’s thyroid problems. The uterus is a nod to a friend’s recent trip to the gynecologist.

Anatomy Classroom

Nix envisions what might happen to an abandoned school after the building is no longer temperature regulated. (See: peeling paint and warping wood.) Nix’s partner made the skulls and anatomy models out of Sculpey. The thyroid is a reference to Nix’s thyroid problems. The uterus is a nod to a friend’s recent trip to the gynecologist.

Anatomy Classroom

Nix envisions what might happen to an abandoned school after the building is no longer temperature regulated. (See: peeling paint and warping wood.) Nix’s partner made the skulls and anatomy models out of Sculpey. The thyroid is a reference to Nix’s thyroid problems. The uterus is a nod to a friend’s recent trip to the gynecologist.

Co.Create

See A Fantastical, Post-Apocalyptic View Of Our Future, In Miniature

Lori Nix has added some new scenes to "The City," a series of scenes set in the wake of unseen disasters.

The City, artist Lori Nix’s collection of fantastical dioramas, is a marvelous creation: part dystopian novel made real, part oversized doll house, part Macy’s Christmas display as designed by a deranged window dresser. Nix grew up in Norton, Kansas and was accustomed to extreme acts of mother nature: tornados, floods, hailstorms, and insect infestations. At 6, she was already devouring campy science fiction films like Planet of the Apes, Earthquake, and Airport 77. As a grown-up, she is quite attuned to how real life often emulates the movies.

“I loved Towering Inferno, and it just happened the other day, in Dubai,” she says, referring to the 34-story tower that went up in flames on November 18th. The diorama, Control Room, which was inspired by Chernobyl, brings to mind Hurricane Sandy and New York’s flooded subways. While the collection started a few years ago, Nix has added new scenes along the way (the subway and anatomy classroom dioramas above were completed last month).

“Our life as we know it is spinning wildly out of control and we may not be able to finance our way back to a healthy planet,” says Nix. This is The City’s premise, though Nix doesn’t specify exactly how human beings have screwed up the planet--and, ultimately, become extinct. “It could be climate change, nuclear annihilation, a virus. I leave it up to the reader to decide. But if you were the last person left alive, these are the scenes you might find.”

While decidedly dark, The City isn’t solely depressing. Nix has infused many of the scenes with humor, which is her way of dealing with adversity. Blackbirds poop all over a theater stage. Goggle-eyed frogs stare at the viewer. A tree has burst through a library ceiling to majestic result.

See some of Nix’s scenes, with commentary from the artist, in the slide show above.

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