FRONT FAVES: Anja Niemi

“Silence remains, inescapably, a form of speech.”
—Susan Sontag

Anja Niemi, the Norwegian-born photographer who’s mastered the art of crafting Lynch-ian style scenes, has a knack for telling stories that are mysterious, complex and mesmerizingly beautiful. Perhaps it’s because she shoots everything alone; as the director, model, stylist, and photographer in all of her work, she simply picks a location, gets herself dressed, sets her camera, and allows the characters to develop on their own. “Taking pictures is very private to me; as soon as someone else is there, I struggle,” says Niemi who claims she picked up photography in her youth as a means to articulate the amusing stories she’d create for herself. But we think what makes Anja even more alluring is the air of power and secrecy that surrounds the true nature behind each of her projects. When asked what’s happening in an image or why a woman is facedown in her suitcase, she just smiles, “I don’t want to tell you…and I think we’ve all felt like that.” She challenges us—her viewers—to create a personal interpretation of her work, reflecting on the intricate relationship we have with ourselves.

(All images courtesy of © Anja Niemi / The Little Black Gallery

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