We can do a lot with Photoshop, from faking entire military operations to whatever this is. But sometimes, low-tech trickery is just more fun. Such is the case with the work of Lori Nix, a photographer who specializes in shooting urban dioramas containing scenes of complete and utter destruction.

Given the minuscule nature of her subjects, Nix works in super-slow motion, creating only a few pieces every year (which is why you may have seen some of these images before). Since 2005, she's been immersed in a project called The City, which depicts New York is a desolate, apocalyptic ghost town: Sand dunes drift through the B train, trees sprout inside of sneaker boutiques, and piles of dirt accumulate in the corners of a Chinese takeout place.


"I am fascinated, maybe even a little obsessed, with the idea of the apocalypse," Nix explains on her website. Maybe a little.

Like most of our obsessions, Nix's fixation stems from childhood. Growing up in a small west Kansas town ("known more for it's natural disasters than anything else"), the countless tornados, floods, and storms made a mark on her psyche.


"The City postulates what it would be like to live in a city that is post man-kind, where man has left his mark by the architecture, but mother nature is taking back these spaces," Nix continues. "Flora, fauna and insects mix with the detritus of high and low culture."

New Yorkers aren't exactly known for fetishizing the past. Some would even argue that we have a death wish—or at the very least, an obsession with the perverse beauty of an empty, destroyed Manhattan. Maybe that's why Nix's work is so mesmerizing—it plays into a collective story that we're all captivated by, yet can't imagine actually coming to pass.

The City is ongoing, but her latest works from the series is on view in a show this month at the Chelsea gallery ClampArt, ending on November 16. [ClampArt]