The new IDEA book is Women by Nadia Lee Cohen. It is the first book to be published by the British / Los Angeles based photographer. It doesn’t look like a first book. It looks like a major work by a major artist. Which is because… it is. Nadia’s work is big on ambition. In the best tradition of it is this / it is that criticism, Women is hyper-surrealist pop iconography AND deeply moving, naked in its honesty, and heartbreaking. Which should make you want to see the pictures.
In her own foreword, Nadia addresses the title and subject;
The word ‘Women’ in this case is an idea related to ‘character’. It doesn’t reside in the world we live in, nor does it share the same politics, beauty norms or values. It stands as a representation of strong femininity within a series of these 100 mise-en-scêne.”
A degree of nudity is common to all the images as Nadia explains;
“Regardless of their assigned character, the level of nudity is determined by whatever the individual personally believes it is to feel ‘unclothed’… This naturally differs between subjects; however, it is, perhaps, the most harmonising thread that injects a universal feeling of strength to these images. The most important character trait being that these ‘Women’ are not weak, they feel empowered and, in turn, empower.”
What Nadia doesn’t say is that the book is the result of six years work. That she kept these pictures under wraps for all that time. That her career as a director flourished over the period and all the while she worked in secret on this project. Which is why it now looks not like a first book – but a major work.
Which it is.
NADIA LEE COHEN : WOMEN
Foreword by Ellen von Unwerth
Introduction by Alessia Glaviano, Italian Vogue
Gold clothbound hardback with debossed title text on front cover and spine
33 x 24cm
Edition of 1000
£65 / €75 / $85