September 22, 2020

Silicone, melodrama and hamburgers: the timeless world of Nadia Lee Cohen | Culture

Silicone, melodrama and hamburgers: the timeless world of Nadia Lee Cohen | Culture



In a contrapicado plane, a woman holds a gun near a skyscraper. The image does not show who is pointing, or why. As the story behind the young woman portrayed in a robe is not known either, leggins and slippers while driving a cart full of paper bags next to a supermarket. Beyond that, there are three supermodels that pose in the parking lot of a McDonald's. Photographs by Nadia Lee Cohen (England, 1990) are frozen stories. Frames that could belong to the cinema of David Lynch. Works that have in common a fascination for the suburbs, the melodrama, the artificial and the everyday. "I am attracted to the mundane, not luxury," the British artist explains to this newspaper 24 hours after landing on the Costa del Sol. This Friday she opens her first solo exhibition, entitled Not a retrospective, which can be seen until May 22 at the La Térmica cultural center in Malaga.

The exhibition includes half a hundred images and four audiovisual pieces that review the short but intense and multifaceted career of the young photographer and filmmaker. Together they compose a new story to which they narrate separately, always with the woman as epicenter. Portraits of pop aesthetics that allow travel until the decades of the fifties and sixties of the last century, when the color reached television in Europe. Saturated and strident tones that the creator places in places without time. A style that has led him to collaborate with celebrities such as Katy Perry, Danny Trejo or Pamela Anderson. But that also has become a reference of the self-portrait: she herself stars in many of his works, which touch an aesthetic kitsch perfected.

In 2014 he traveled to the United States, thanks to an award given by the London College of Fashion, where he graduated. On the west coast of the United States, he came into contact with the environment of the large residential areas where everything looks. It became his inspiration. "I feel a magnetic attraction for those scenarios so artificial and, at the same time, so common in that society. They repel and fascinate me at the same time, "says Lee Cohen, who places women in the center who she has observed at some point while traveling through cities such as Los Angeles, or who have inspired her at some point in her life, including the nanny who Cared for as a child

His work is full of cinematographic references and influences that range from the American photographer Philip-Lorca DiCorcia -Whose series Hustlers was approaching male prostitution in Hollywood – the British Richard Billingham, who documented life inside any family. "For me, ordinary people are interesting," says the artist. From them, play with the limits between fantasy and reality, fame and anonymity. Also with the plastic, the exaggerated, the shabby. He does it with naked women who eat pizza on the sofa and British bourgeois ladies. Or figures molded by silicone in a family dinner that could be held in any house of the Kardashian clan.

Although he has also worked with men, all the images that make up Not a retrospective They are played by women. "I've always found them more interesting," he explains, showing them with their strengths and weaknesses, demanding the viewer to reflect on appearances, female portraits far removed from conventional beauty, resounding, sensual and surreal, framed in a world of theater. and melodrama.

Nadia Lee Cohen began her photography studies in 2011 at the London College of Fashion, where she has obtained several recognitions that led her to exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery in London. His photographs have been published in magazines as New York Magazine, Vogue Magazine, Marie Claire or The Sunday Times.

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