Gallery Mondays: “The Fall” by Anja Niemi

anja niemi the fall she could have been a cowboy

The Steven Kasher Gallery in Chelsea is exhibiting some pretty intriguing art lately, so I could not resist stopping by to check out She Could Have Been A Cowboy by Norwegian photographer Anja Niemi.

The exhibit features several photos (among other cowboy-themed photographs) of a woman in a blonde wig that covers her face. In some of the photos, she’s pictured in cowboy getup. In others, she’s in a pink dress or other feminine garments. When she’s dressed as a cowboy, she looks alive, moving her body in different ways. However, when she’s dressed in feminine wear (or sitting in the bath unclothed) she appears sad and still. The exhibit reminded me of the unhappy and unfulfilled 1950s housewife.

Of all the photos, “The Fall” stood out to me the most. The woman in the blonde wig is standing in the middle of the desert with a lasso in hand, wearing her sleek cowboy attire (loving the neutral pink-ish tan and brown palette, btw!), her body captured in a pose I guess one would strike if they were falling backward gracefully.

What is she falling from, though? There’s no horse in sight, so it must be something figurative. Is she falling back to into a reality where she’s not a cowboy, but instead a dreary housewife who has just taken off her sad pink dress to sit sulking in the bath?

Maybe I’m reading this wrong. Regardless, Niemi gives us some interesting material to think about this Women’s History Month.

Catch the exhibit at Steven Kasher Gallery before it closes on April 14, 2018!

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