Dioramas have a bad rep from being used for one-too-many grade school book report projects, but there’s no reason to assume they can’t be employed to create amazing art. Contemporary avant-garde artist Lori Nix has brought these lowbrow creations back into favor almost singlehandedly. For her series “The City,” the artist uses paint, glue, foam, and dirt to construct elaborate and remarkably life-like miniature versions of modern environments.

When construction is finished, Nix sets up a complex lighting apparatus for the photography session that ensues. Her dioramas often depict familiar locations, such as libraries and restaurants, but with a humorous dark twist. “I am interested in depicting danger and disaster” the artist writes on her website. Her photos capture post-apocalyptic scenes from a world eerily like our own, presenting the viewer with a scenario where “something either natural or as the result of mankind has emptied the city of its human inhabitants.”

The fascinating images carry an ominous message. “I am afraid of what the future holds if we do not change our ways regarding the climate,” the artist reveals. If it's anything like what we find in “The City,” we better get our act together.

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[via DesignTaxi]