Unnatural History Depicted in Diminutive Dioramas


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Welcome to the cockeyed world of artist-photographer Lori Nix, as she takes us behind the scenes at the Natural History Museum. Nix's diminutive dioramas unfold as microcosms--where the world of science collides with an overactive imagination, with amusing results. Nix fabricates these elaborate miniature scenes in her Brooklyn studio, forgoing any kind of digital intervention. Nix: "I'm greatly enamored with the Natural History Museum, and visit it as often as I can. My series Unnatural History is a look at the inner workings of the museum. The images feature animals and situations where the science and/or facts they represent are a little confused." The exhibition Lori Nix: New Work is currently on view at Clampart at 521-531 West 25th St. in NYC through December 18th, 2010.

Images courtesy ClampArt/Lori Nix"Angler Fish," 2009.

"I love this prehistoric looking deep water fish. But, visually it's a hard fish to love. I happened to find a child's toy and immediately knew how I wanted the image to look."

"Dodo," 2009.

"Since the dodo bird is extinct, scientists have had to rely on historical drawings and skeletons in order to figure out what the true image of the bird should be. Judging by the very long legs of the bird on the table, they got some bad information. And to make up for their being extinct, there is now an army of them throughout the workshop."

"Sharks," 2009.

"Sharks, sharks everywhere, surrounding the hapless worker on the other side of the installation. Too bad they are stuffed, immobile and swimming nowhere."

"Gallery of Rocks," 2010.

One of my favorite images. I love how the viewer has to be told that these everyday rocks are important and interesting. Truly, only a geologist would find these rocks interesting. One rock happens to be a discarded peach pit I found on a walk to the ice cream store."

"Mastodon," 2009.

"This mastodon is being constructed out of old newspapers, a sort of massive paper mache. I wanted these prints to have a historical feel, like they were taken back in the 1930s and 1940s. To help with that illusion I found images of old newspapers online, depicting the Lindberg baby kidnapping, Hitler surrendering to Allied Forces, and the sinking of the Titanic."

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