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UNMUTED: A Photography Book by Nedda Afsari

Mar 12, 2020

By Melissa Rodwell

‘High Horse’ Photography by Nedda Asfari

Available now, the debut photography book from award-winning Los Angeles-based, Iranian-raised fine art photographer and creative director Nedda Afsari, entitled UNMUTED, encompassing her body of work from 2014-2019 that explores themes of self-awareness, identity, sexuality, and power dynamics.The just released (February 2020), self-published, limited-edition, 128-page hardcover book shines an introspective light on the divine feminine power while simultaneously balancing the masculine and feminine. In UNMUTED, you’ll find photographs mainly in analog format─shot on a Canon F1 (35mm single-lens reflex camera) and Contax G1(fully electronic and automatic 35mm film camera)─of friends and artists that inspire Nedda; such as female musicians Annie Clark, known professionally as St. Vincent, singer, songwriter, and fashion goth staple Chelsea Wolfe, and songwriter, bassist, and guitarist Jennie Vee (solo artist and bassist of Eagles of Death Metal). The book also features photos of Yeha Leung (lingerie designer behind Creepyyeha and a favorite of FKA twigs), and Mexican-American artist Natasha Lillipore, among many others.For years, Nedda’s output of highly stylized erotic photography, executed masterfully, with an affectation towards romanticized darkness has been known through her alias,mutedfawn. Over the years, mutedfawn has gained visibility within and outside the underground music and art scenes where she first found an audience. In 2019, St. Vincent’s album MASSEDUCTION, for which Nedda produced all of the photography, won a GRAMMY for Best Recording Package (presented for the visual look of an album). The publication of UNMUTED marks the dissolution of her alias, as well as Nedda’s emergence as the subject, arbiter, and power within her own work.In describing her style to VICE’s i-Dmagazine, Nedda shares, “I channel my subconscious visions, fears, and desires into my work. I like to capture and examine dichotomies — the lines between fantasy and reality, masculine and feminine, light and dark, and bring a story to life. Sometimes an image is equally dreamy and horrific, refined but chaotic, imposing yet ethereal.” In an interview with Evelyn Wang of UK’s DAZED magazine, who says “I think of your photography as ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night directed by David Lynch and John Willie’s demon child,’” Nedda responds, “That’s a pretty accurate description actually! I’d also add Guy Bourdin’s fashion films to that mix. So many different things inspire me. Classic horror films, fashion photography, music, and my lucid dreams are all areas I pull inspiration from at the moment.”UNMUTED is available now to purchase on Nedda’s official website.

‘Conduit’ Photography by Nedda Afsari

About Nedda Afsari:

Born in San Francisco, Nedda Afsari is a Los Angeles-based, Iranian-raised self-taught fine art photographer and creative director whose imagery explores themes of power, control, liberation, and self-awareness, all while celebrating and traversing the diverse realms of the divine feminine and human sexuality. Afsari often combines her love of music and film to create intense and fascinating dreamscapes for her subjects to explore. For years, Nedda’s output of highly stylized erotic photography, executed masterfully, with an affectation towards romanticized darkness has been known through her alias, mutedfawn. Over the years, mutedfawnhas gained visibility within and outside the underground music and art scenes where she first found an audience.

Nedda’s photography has featured such commanding presences, such as GRAMMY-winning artist St. Vincent, Chelsea Wolfe, Jennie Vee (Eagles of Death Metal), musician, designer and illustrator Foie Gras, artist, model, and dominatrix Maidenfed, Yeha Leung (lingerie designer behind Creepyyeha), and Mexican-American artist Natasha Lillipore, among many others. Other musician’s Nedda has worked with include: Avalon Lurks, Black Mare, Blood Red Shoes, Boy Harsher, Caroline Polachek, Ceremony, Drab Majesty, Hide, King Dude, Panther Modern, Selofan, Tamaryn, TR/ST, The Boxer Rebellion, VOWWS, and she works closely with the Los Angeles-based record label Dais. Click here to see a sample of Nedda’s music photography.

‘Duet’ Photography by Nedda Asfari

In July 2018, under her mutedfawn alias, Nedda premiered her first solo photo exhibition, entitled The Viewing: The Muses of Nedda Afsari, at Lethal Amounts in downtown Los Angeles. In 2019, St. Vincent’s album MASSEDUCTION, for which Nedda produced all of the photography, won a GRAMMY for Best Recording Package.

Her photos have been seen in The New Yorker and online on NPR and Rolling Stone; plus her work has been featured by Playboy, VICE’s i-D magazine, DAZED magazine, SSENSESOVO// Magazine, and Nakid, among others.

The cinematic quality of her photographs turned out to be a premonition of her artistic evolution, as Nedda teamed up with Michael E Linn and his creative partner Michael R. Zumaya (aka The Widow Brothers) to form the video production and visual collective Muted Widows. In April 2019, the three debuted their first project for the group Boy Harsher, continuing a stream of surreal/art house themed music videos for artists like Drab Majesty and Ceremony.

For more info on Nedda Afsari, visit mutedawn.com and follow @mutedfawn on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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