See work by Norwegian artist Anja Niemi at Steven Kasher Gallery, New York, now
She Could Have Been A Cowboy is a new show of self-portrait photography by Anja Niemi. The exhibition features a series of narrative photographs exploring life lived under the constraints of conformity, set in the Wild West.
In some photographs Niemi’s character is captured in a pink dress, while in other works her desire to be something different, to be ‘another’ – in this instance a cowboy – is illustrated through her being dressed in fringe and leather, riding horses and roaming the desert.More active, vital depictions of the artist outdoors are juxtaposed with scenes in which we see her delicately clothed and still amid quiet interior spaces. In both sets of imagery, interestingly though, we never see her face, implying that perhaps her character’s identity is not settled in either place.
And here’s something to inspire us self-portraitists: Niemi put on her cowboy attire, rented a car and hiked up and down the mountains in order to grow into her character. She even rode a horse in the same field John Wayne filmed one of his famous horse battles! That’s dedication to one’s craft, right?
She Could Have Been A Cowboy is on view at Steven Kasher Gallery, New York until 14 April, followed by Photo London from 17-20 May, and finally at Ravestijn Gallery, Amsterdam during Unseen, from 8 September-21 October