Nedda Afsari (aka, Muted Fawn) is a LA-based photographer who infuses fashion photography and portraiture with elements of the eerie, erotic, and strange. Influenced by a combination of music, art horror films, the supernatural, and her own lucid dreams, her images stir the imagination as powerful, semi-surreal visions. Women in strappy, edgy lingerie pose sedately with their faces hidden in washing machines and behind walls; a masked matron symbolically opens an empty birdcage; another sits up on a desert road, her body swathed in plastic wrap. In every image, her figures exude a stunning sense of otherworldly calm, beauty, and confidence.
When I asked Afsari what impressions and feelings she hopes her viewers will take from her images, she expressed the desire to connect and empower:
“[M]y main hope is that the viewer is able to feel an emotion from my photographs and formulate their own meaning. I enjoy photographing women that have a strong feminine presence and love to capture that seductive power and alluring mystique. I tend to be pretty shy, so in a sense I feel like I’m sometimes vicariously living through some of these ladies I photograph and it’s helped me open up a little more personally.”
Afsari explores femininity in a way that crosses the decades of fashion photography, seamlessly blending vintage pin-up-style portraiture with a more contemporary latex-occult fetishism. Feminine power is not rooted in conventional notions of sexuality, exploring women as ethereal and dominant presences. She regularly collaborates with artists who share a similar aestheticism, such as the alternative designers Hopeless Lingerie and Creepyyeha.
As for upcoming projects, Afsari is currently working on collaborations with photographer Kristin Cofer. She is also putting together a gallery show in LA and Miami and aims to create more video projects in the near future. Check out her website, Facebook, and Instagram to follow her inspiring work.