Cette artiste impudique née dans la campagne anglaise, voulait être un garçon et détestait les robes et pourtant, elle a étudié la mode à la London College of Fashion puis la photographie. Aujourd’hui elle vit à Los Angeles et travaille depuis de longs mois sur son livre « 100 naked women ». Un ouvrage qui sortira en 2018 où elle met en scène des femmes héroïnes à l’aise avec leur corps à travers les États Unis et l’Angleterre … Nadia aime le cinéma, d’ailleurs ses clichés nous plongent dans des scènes décalées, non conventionnelles à la John Waters, Harmone Korine, Wes Andersen …
Comme Cindy Sherman, Nadia Lee Cohen joue sur le rôle et l’image de la femme, son identité, ses modes de représentations mais aussi sur notre société de consommation avec ironie et toujours beaucoup de fantaisie et talent. La plupart de ses photos de « 100 naked women » restent encore confidentielles jusqu’à la sortie du photobook, vous pouvez tout de même en découvrir quelques unes par ici ..
Rencontre avec l’atypique Nadia, l’artiste qui aime se peindre le visage en bleu, se déguiser en Ronald Mc Donald et qui me parle de son travail, de nudité, de sexe et autres clichés …
Who is Nadia Lee Cohen ?
As an artist I’m a photographer, film maker and self portrait artist – I am heavily interested in capturing the small aspects in the mundanity of everyday living that I think can sometimes go unnoticed. As a woman, I’m kind, loyal, easily offended, driven, passionate, I definitely work too much, and I definitely have a temper. Perhaps the perfect Scorpio!
How would you describe your work ?
Female dominant, colourful, something I have previously imagined, and something perhaps not everyone will like.
How did you come to photography ?
This is a hugely boring story, so in short ; I just bought a camera and started to realize i was good at it.
How the idea of the 100 naked women series born ?
It was around a time when I was having a slight mental block in creating new work, I needed an idea that I could work on constantly in my spare time and turn into a lengthy series, but it had to be something significant and relevant to what was happening around me.
I shot a friend following her break up with a boyfriend predominantly to make her feel good about herself, and seeing how liberated she felt after the experience was the initial driving force behind the project. The series has progressed into a response for what is happening right now with online female censorship, as this is something very relevant to me and something I constantly have to consider when posting behind the scenes photographs from the naked girls, inspiration imagery or even photographs of myself. I was driven to proceed with the book as it has become a documentation and platform in which the modern females involved are not restricted what ever in how much of their bodies they choose to reveal to others.
How do you choose your models ?
The models I choose are predominantly women I respect, I do not often go to model agencies to find girls, I notice someone interesting, whether that is on the internet or on the street and then ask them if they would like to shoot. I like to work with people who are comfortable in their own skin and have an expressive face that resemble the character I have previously imagined.
Do you have any special story about one of them ?
Haha yes! But I don’t think it’s a good idea that I reveal it on the internet.
What do you enjoy more : shooting models or being a model ?
Both have rewarding qualities in their own right, if the idea I have fits with myself posing then I will use myself; but it all depends on the initial concept.
Would you be interested of doing 100 naked men series ?
No! I probably won’t shoot 100 other anything ever again!
Do you think « woman’s cliché » have changed since the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s ?
Certainly, and this is why I find it interesting to photograph images that look as though they come from this era. At first glance, my work may be reminiscent of a time dominated by male objectification. I choose to photograph and portray these eras through my sets and styling, because to me they are aesthetically pleasing. The way I photograph the women turns the idea of this quaint association on its head. Centrally focused, and powerful in the frame the females in these staged sets could never be described as passive.
What the body and nudity represent for you ?
The body is something to be used until you’re shrivelled and old. Nudity isn’t something I really consider when looking at an image, it doesn’t shock me. I see it as a raw and honest aspect of a photo, I wish everyone felt the same.
Who are the sexiest female icons for you ?
That is such a hard question to answer! But generally I love the unconventional – anyone with a wonky eye or teeth that are too big for their mouth but they still own it – I find that really sexy.
What sex represents for you ?
An psychic porn star from Vegas once told me, ‘Nadia you’re a very sexual person but it’s all inside your head’.
Her website : http://www.nadialeecohen.com
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/nadialeelee/