Lori Nix’s Photographs Of Danger And Disaster Are Actually Miniature Worlds Painstakingly Made By Hand

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In her ongoing series “The City,” photographer Lori Nix creates incredibly detailed scenes by hand in miniature, then photographs them. The result is an amazing collection forecasting scenes of danger and disaster. The pictures share some commonalities with Matthew Christopher’s “Abandoned America,” recently covered on b/d, but instead of finding places that have been left behind, Nix constructs them.

“In my newest body of work ‘The City’ I have imagined a city of our future, where something either natural or as the result of mankind, has emptied the city of it’s human inhabitants. Art museums, Broadway theaters, laundromats and bars no longer function. The walls are deteriorating, the ceilings are falling in, the structures barely stand, yet Mother Nature is slowly taking them over. These spaces are filled with flora, fauna and insects, reclaiming what was theirs before man’s encroachment. I am afraid of what the future holds if we do not change our ways regarding the climate, but at the same time I am fascinated by what a changing world can bring.”

The images are classically composed, with a balance of color and space. Even once the viewer is told that these are dioramas, it’s difficult to believe. The intricate details, realistic lighting, and cohesive scale make them absolutely lifelike.

“My scenes can be as small as 50×60 centimeters and as large as 182 centimeters in diameter. It takes approximately seven months to build and photograph a scene. I build it for one angle of view and never move my camera from that spot. I will change the lighting, the placement of the objects and re-shoot until I’m fully satisfied with the results.”

Nix’s apocalyptic visions are both familiar and fantastic. She presents a world on a tabletop that is beautiful and alarming.

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Discarded Old Books Turned Into Artworks Featuring Miniature Copper Paintings

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American artist Joseph Decamillis breaths second life to old discarded books by inserting miniature illuminated into their covers. Postage stamp-sized artworks are done on copper plates and placed in carved niches. Decamillis’ works turn two-dimensional book covers into exquisite spatial collages.

“As a painter of miniatures on copper, Joe found old books the perfect match to narrate and contain his exquisite illuminated images. <…> Carving niches into old books emphasized the storytelling nature of the work.”

Combining the inscribed meanings of a book with his whimsical paintings, Decamillis constructs new discourses between book cover’s inherent text, oil-painted imagery, carefully selected text additions and the viewer. To create his trademark miniatures, Decamillis uses brushes with no more than three hairs each. After finishing the piece, the book is sealed to never be opened again.

All books featured in the “Miniature Paintings In Altered Books” series are real, mostly found in libraries, bought at thrift store bargains or given by family and friends. In this project, Decamillis was able to unite his passion for books with self-taught skills of oil painting and collage. Artist claims to often research the books before altering to find potential monetary or historical value. (via Messy Nessy Chic)

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Dollhouse Scale Rooms By Leanne Eisen Miniaturize Sex Trade Spaces

Leanne Eisen - Play

Leanne Eisen - Play

Leanne Eisen - Play

The world of dollhouse miniatures is dominated by sweet structures with period-perfect furniture and impossibly tiny accessories. Leanne Eisen subverts all expectations with “Play” her photo series of 1/12th scale brothel, strip club and other sex trade sites. Eisen makes the pieces of these meticulously detailed scenes herself, having found difficulty in sourcing ready-made miniature condoms, porn magazines and sex toys. The spaces have a seedy, disreputable air enhanced by the details—a used washcloth hangs haphazardly over the sink, sequined shoes are abandoned on the strip club stage, and a forest of egg timers sits under posted house rules. Although Eisen had not been in an actual brothel, she researched films, documentaries, books, and photographs to create her voyeuristic spaces.

The photographs in “Play” are enlarged, playing with scale to disorienting effect. Scenes that are rendered in miniature are suddenly life-size again, with no referent of scale in the images. These are realistic spaces but they are also fantastical. No woman will ever spin on the golden pole. The cow clock in the kitchen will always read 10:10. These abandoned rooms tell their stories through their contents. She says:

I am very interested in residential spaces; the artifacts that we accumulate and leave behind, and how they tell our stories in our absence. I also find the idea of a space that is seemingly a workplace as well as a residence intriguing. In these photos, the viewer takes the role of voyeur, and can take the time to analyze the setting at a perhaps more manageable, less intimidating scale.

The series also serves as a commentary of the accepted social roles for women in a residential space. Where a traditional dollhouse might have a domestic mother figure keeping house, these spaces are intended for women as sexual objects. Whether in the sad paneled room with the pink-clad single bed or in the black walled sex chamber with its red X and metal cage, these are spaces intended to commercialize women.

Through detailed conceptualization, deliberate craft and artful photography, “Play” blurs the lines between whimsy and menace, making pointed observations about the place of women in this world.

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Sabine Timm’s Miniature Sculptures

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Sabine Timm - Assembledge

Sabine Timm - Assembledge

Glass bottles, broken ceramic statues, buildings, and an oven are all things you’ll find in Sabine Timm’s work. If this sounds excessive, I assure you it’s not. All of these things are miniature-size and require no heavy lifting. The Dusseldorf-based artist uses found and vintage objects to assemble tiny sculptures and arrange items in an amusing way. The images, captured in photographs, don’t seem like permanent installations. Instead, Timm’s handiwork feels fleeting, like we’re seeing a scene from a play.

Timm often utilizes the same objects among assemblages. This practice weaves a narrative through several images, and we can start to imagine a world where all of these things exist. They are vignettes, depicting a fantastic yet logical place. A pile of small petals nearly cover an entire house. Broken ceramics are given a second chance by simply drawing a new body parts. Timm also solves issues like overcrowding simply by stacking houses on top of each other. Build up instead of out, right?

There is obviously a lot of play at hand in Timm’s work. Her sense of humor is very sweet and goofy; for instance, she adds a face to plastic containers, using a comb as a wild hairstyle. It’s has a broad audience and is amusing in a couple of ways. She’s giving personality to inanimate objects, which is absurd. Additionally, the things she uses to create these faces are ingenious. Timm uses a lot of toys, such as the trees out of a train set. It’s nostalgic for many viewers, but also fun for kids, too.  There is a quiet sophistication to her work. The fine details are refined and innovative, yet the attitude of the images themselves are very accessible. You don’t need a formal art education to enjoy Timm’s work, and it’s able to be appreciated on a number of levels.

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Thomas Doyle

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New York sculptor Thomas Doyle works in miniature, creating detailed scenes capturing specific moments in his tiny people’s lives. Some of these moments are rather mundane, while others are epically dramatic. What all these sculptures share however, is best put in Doyle’s words:

The pieces’ radically reduced scales evoke feelings of omnipotence—as well as the visceral sensation of unbidden memory recall. Hovering above the glass, the viewer approaches these worlds as an all-seeing eye, looking down upon landscapes that dwarf and threaten the figures within.

Conversely, the private intensity of moments rendered in such a small scale draws the viewer in, allowing for the intimacy one might feel peering into a museum display case or dollhouse. Though surrounded by chaos, hazard, and longing, the figures’ faces betray little emotion, inviting viewers to lose themselves in these crucibles—and in the jumble of feelings and memories they elicit.

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