Harper's Bazaar (Singapore)

NADIA LEE COHEN (@NADIALEELE­E)

A killer self-portrait artist, this British art photograph­er and film-maker applies her old-world glamour and other worldly mind to the creation of jaw-dropping content for the likes of A$AP Rocky, M.A.C and Miu Miu

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What does beauty mean to you and how does that translate into your work?

Beauty means wit, intelligen­ce and confidence. I photograph what naturally feels beautiful to me, which generally seems to be confident women who are comfortabl­e in their own skin.

What’s your most out-there creation to date? Tell us more about the concept and creation process.

It’s got to be “Hello My Name Is”, a ser ies of five self-portrait images based around discarded name badges. I drasticall­y altered my appearance with prosthetic­s, wigs and makeup; the process was pretty gruelling. The most interestin­g element was the small objects that gave life to each character and symbolised their personalit­ies.

Do you think you’re pushing boundaries in the beauty, fashion and digital worlds with your provocativ­e artworks and videos?

There’s still an underlying pressure coming from the social media culture to strive for perfection and that interests me as an artist, so I often play on that in my work, with the intention of liberating and pushing back at those sections of the fashion industry that still favour a certain look. I don’t overtly str ive to make something provocativ­e; it just usually ends up that way when I’m given free rein.

What keeps you creative and inspired?

I’m constantly bombarded with informatio­n, whether on the personal or profession­al front, and I’ve learned that waking up early, taking on less and finding time for myself allow me the breathing space to gain new inspiratio­n.

How has your life and personalit­y influenced your work?

Humour and irony feature strongly in my personal identity and I guess that spills over into my photograph­s. I also seek darkness and rebellion in art and cinema, and I think it’s only natural that these elements creep into my own approach towards film- and image-making. For me, the most important “ingredient” in my images is the “everyday” that the viewer can easily identify and empathise with, rather than creating something fantastica­l and unrecognis­able. I think my work is an example, perhaps, of art and artist becoming one.

Tell us more about your skincare and makeup routines.

In the morning, I wash my face with a La Roche-Posay cleanser, then apply Skin Medica’s HA5 Rejuvenati­ng Hydrator. I’ve recently started using Retin A, so sunscreen is really important. I love M.A.C Prep + Prime

Face Protect Lotion

SPF 50.

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