According to British Journal of Photography, Norwegian photographer Anja Niemi, based in London, is one of the most compelling modern artists working today. Until end of April her exhibition “The Woman Who Never Existed” is on display at Shoot Gallery in Oslo.
Niemi always works alone; photographing, staging and acting out the characters in all of her photographs. Niemi is rarely giving interviews but to a pushy New York journalist she once said that ‘away from the stage I do not exist.’
Niemi has been represented at prestigious art galleries around the world, and her work is highly collectable, including being a part of the Nion McEvoy Collection, the Hudson Bay Company Global Art Collection and the Susanne von Meiss Collection.
Her auction record was achieved in January 2017 when Room 81 (bed), from her Do Not Disturb series, was sold for a record $7,000 by auction house Peddle8.
She has published three books, Photographing in Costume (The Little Black Gallery, 2015), Short Strories (Jane & Jeremy, 2016) and The Woman Who Never Existed has recently been issued by Jane and Jeremy. This book is an edition of 100 only and is available exclusively from the Little Black Gallery, London. The book has been supported by the Norwegian Embassy.
Anja Niemi creates carefully curated images that are part hyper-reality, part future-illusion that explore the female identity. Niemi’s subjects (often the photographer herself) are perfectly coiffed, immaculately styled and totally composed.
Her series, “Darlene & Me”, inspired by a 1959 abandoned suitcase filled with the remnants of a woman named Darlene, and “Do Not Disturb” inspired by 1950s housewives in Norway getting a paid housewife vacation from the government, show that Anja knows how to direct, and tell a story through the medium of photography.
The Woman Who Never Existed was inspired by the words of the pioneering Italian actress Eleonora Duse, who worked the international theatre stage alongside Sara Bernhardt in the early 20th century. In contrast to Bernhardt’s outgoing personality, Duse was introverted and private.
Niemi (b1976) studied at the London College of Printing and Parsons School of Design in Paris and New York.
The Norwegian Photographer Who Never Existed, written by Tor Kjolberg