Macabre, Meet My Friend Humor

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I’m not going to lie – Land of the Lost was my favorite TV show of the 1970s.  I watched it on Saturday mornings at around 10 or 11 am.  There were not that many episodes, so I am sure I watched re-runs of re-runs dozens of times until the shows were ingrained into my skull, which is not a bad thing, lol…right?  Loved the whole concept – it was the first time I had heard/learned the word paradox.  The show might have bad special effects by today’s standards, but I think it still resonates for me (of course, I have the series on DVD, duh). Each episode was written by the premiere Sci-Fi script writers of the day.  I mean, it was a great show.

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I also loved/still love Planet of the Apes!  OMG, again, the idea of a paradox.  In Land of the Lost, the only way they could escape the matrix was to have another them pop into it, thus continuing the cycle (paradox).  And if you watch all five POTA films, you discover that time travel causes the paradox and sets the whole ape takeover in motion (whoops, spoiler alert!).  Love that stuff.

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Lori Nix likes it too.  She’s a few years younger than me and she’s from the mid-west (Kansas), and so her formative years created for her a fascination with destruction of civilization as we know it.  Pair those two TV/film phenomena with Towering Inferno, Logan’s Run and life in tornado alley and you will come to understand this artist’s obsession with the comedy of demise.

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Once in 1993, I borrowed my mom’s car and spent the night at a friend’s house.  It was about a month before the Blizzard of ’93 so it was a brutal winter.  In my defense, my car’s door was frozen open, so the only way I could drive it is if I drove with my left hand and held the door shut with my right.  Anyhow, I got blamed for my father’s car accident because he had to drive Mom to work the next day because I had her car. (It was a minor fender bender).

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Nix has a similar story only hers is really more the stuff of legend.  Her mom dropped her off at a movie theater the night of a horrendous tornado that just missed her mother whose car had just pulled into their driveway. She rolled down the windows and ducked for her life, like a character in a horror film, just as the tornado passed over her.  That storm managed to take out every other house on their street.  Lori Nix’s father blamed her for nearly killing her mother.  It’s like we lived in a parallel universe!

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And yet, that’s where the similarities end.  I am happy go-lucky me who never watches the news, crime shows or that lot, and steers clear of negative circumstances.  Nix dwells on the eery, macabre damage and destruction of standing at the peripheries of doom, but takes it all  in stride with her immensely dark humor.

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NIx and her partner work in tandem, both creating these especially detailed little vignettes – of cars plunging in the drink, of apocalyptic subway cars and laundrymats, of  beautiful places turned yucky-yucky.

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This work is painstakingly slow, intimate and fun, similar to creating little puppet theaters.  Apparently, their home in Brooklyn is a bit of a construction site with two cats finding their way into the “environments”.  These were my favorite pictures in her slide show and I have to say, they made me enjoy her talk all the more.

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The work is whimsical and silly and yet there is a seriousness to the dedication with which they create the art.  I love that commitment! She is doing a two-week residency at Golden Artist Colors, Inc. in New Berlin, NY, and that’s where I met her.

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Nix photographs her vignettes using an 8″ x 10″ camera and these photos take days – to get the lighting just right and to remove any excess cat hair caught in the crossfire.

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The photographs are quite large – 30″ x 40″ and bigger, and have been exhibited all over the nation and the world – Italy, Germany, Australia, and Canada!

Check out her website here.

 

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