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Nadia Lee Cohen
courtesy of Instagram/@nadialeelee

Nadia Lee Cohen wants to replace her body with her mother’s dog

We meet the shapeshifting photographer creating visually bright thematically dark and unsettling work

The Dazed Beauty Community is our ever-expanding encyclopaedia of creatives and emerging talent from across the world who are redefining the way we think about beauty. From supermodels to digital artists to makeup prodigies transforming themselves in their bedrooms, these are the beauty influencers of tomorrow who embody everything Dazed Beauty is about. Discover them here.

Though you may not know who Nadia Lee Cohen is, you’ve almost certainly regrammed some of her work. She’s primarily a photographer, but her moving image work has covered making films for Kali Uchis, A$AP Rocky, Miu Miu and GCDS (which starred Brooke Candy alongside Pamela Anderson). Her photographic work is frequently featured across fashion and artistic media, including none of than Dazed Beauty.

Citing John Waters, David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick as influences, it’s easy to see why we’re all so enamoured. That cocktail of aesthetic influences is deployed in a mix of self-portraits in which she muses on the construction of identity, using prosthetics to recreate herself as different characters, as well as working with actors and models to produce visually bright but thematically dark and unsettling work – it’s classic and familiar, but indulging in the camp and grotesque; it’s reality overdone.

What’s your career highlight?
Kissing Danny Trejo.

What 3 beauty products are in your bag right this second?
A small hairbrush, Serge Lutens L’Incendiaire and a packet of fags.

What’s your earliest beauty related memory?
I painted my face white and wore a cloth on my head for three days.

Describe your beauty aesthetic in 3 words.
Scrubs up alright.

What’s your favourite smell and why?
I have so many favourite smells: vanilla, bonfire, breakfast, perhaps it would be more interesting to know about smells I hate - cheese fondue, dishcloths, wet dogs.

Which fictional character do you most relate to and why?
Depends on my mood and hairstyle, today I relate to the mum in Matilda.

Who is your beauty icon?
Divine, because she was the queen of pushing her look to the limit.

What does beauty mean to you?
Possessing a very large brain full of wit and intelligence.

When do you feel most beautiful?
When the lighting is right.

What beauty product would you take with you to the moon?
I would bring my hairstylist and chain him to a pole with a curling tong.

Finish this sentence: the future of beauty looks like...
A Kardashian convention.

Are you optimistic about the future?

What is your fantasy future?
A world with no action films.

What do you think the world will look like in 100 years?
Probably similar to an action film.

A friend once exclaimed that when he dies he wants 'Weeping virgins carved from marble to be placed in a circle around his grave'. What would your ideal tombstone look like?
Maybe a 70s nuclear bunker.

You have to donate a feature/limb of your body to an icon of yours. You get nothing in return. What feature/limb do you give and why?
Stanley Kubrick can take my heart and finish the films he never made.

If not your body then, is there anything you would want to leave behind? An artwork you haven't done yet, a book, a bloodline?
Not really, I want to be buried with my hard drives.

You have to replace your body with that of an animal or a mythological creature. What do you go for and why?
I once looked at the cooker at my mum's house, and in one frying pan there was a dried up bit of chicken and two sad accompanying pieces of asparagus, then in the other pan was a huge cartoonish slab of sirloin steak. The chicken intended for me, the steak for the dog. Therefore, I’d replace my body with my mother's dog.