Lori Nix says her photos are "saturated with color and infused with a dark sense of humor." This scene certainly gives new meaning to the phrase "dive bar."

Beauty Shop

Some of Nix’s dioramas are only 20 x 24 inches. Which definitely makes it easier to find her "fenced in tragedies" like this ruined salon beautiful instead of terrifying.


A ruined church becomes a tomb for popculture ephemera after Nix’s unexplained catastrophe.

Clock Tower

Unlike Cormac McCarthy’s "The Road," in which the world’s clocks all stop at 1:17, Nix’s scene is somehow more unnerving because all these dead clocks show different times.

Control Room

Whatever the imaginary folks in this room were trying to control, they clearly failed.


Apparently the four horsemen of the apocalypse got the hell out of Dodge along with everyone else, and left their steeds behind amid the graffiti and garbage.

Great Hall

Nix’s eye for unsettling detail is on brilliant display here. Is that a resurrected pterodactyl flying over these ruins of a natural history museum?

Laundromat at Night

No one meets cute in "The City"'s cinematically ruined laundromats. Huddle on the floor murmuring in horror? That’s more like it.


Nix’s crumbling library evokes the desolation of the classic post-apocalyptic Twilight Zone episode, "Time Enough At Last."

The Majestic

Whoever had front-row seats at this apocalypse are long gone now.


Nix gives this scene an especially creep vibe by placing a full-size houseplant within the tiny diorama like some sort of sci-fi invader.

Map Room

Did Nix create microscopic maps to fill the shelves of this abandoned cartographic society? We wouldn’t put it past her.

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Lori Nix's Stunning, Tiny Dioramas Depict an Abandoned World [Slideshow]

In "The City," artist Lori Nix designs a deserted world in miniature being retaken by nature.

For some reason, human beings can't get enough of imagining our own destruction. From REM and Roland Emmerich to National Geographic and NASA, the apocalypse never goes out of style. Now fine-art photographer Lori Nix is adding her eerie vision to the mix with an exhibition called "The City" — in which "public spaces devoted to history and science lie deteriorating and neglected while nature slowly takes them back."

The twist is that Nix's photos aren't Photoshop manipulations — they're real images of tiny, painstakingly detailed dioramas that Nix has designed just for these photographs. She built the 3-D scenes in her living room on nights and weekends with the help of an assistant, with each one taking anywhere from two to fifteen months to complete. Nix then shot the dioramas on normal 8x10 film, making her minuscule creations — about 20 x 24 x 72 inches small — appear nearly indistinguishable from full-size scenes.

"The City" is showing at New York's ClampArt Gallery until December 18, and then at Chicago's Catherine Edelman Gallery from January 7 to February 26, 2011. Take a look at Nix's beautiful/awful vision of the future, and be glad that these scenes only exist in her Brooklyn apartment and not outside your window... yet.

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  • Carol Sundahl

    How It's Made episode earlier today featured this artist (while never naming her) and her work in up-close detail. Fascinating.

  • Daniel

    I saw this gallery in Toledo Ohio, and I honestly think it was the first gallery I have seen that I liked. If you get a chance to see it, go see it.