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Art

Through Blocks of Geometric Color, Artist Derrick Adams Celebrates the Joy of Self-Expression

April 22, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Style Variation 35” (2020), acrylic paint and graphite on digital inkjet photograph, 245.1 x 153 x 4.4 centimeters. All images © Derrick Adams, courtesy Salon 94, New York

In Looks, artist Derrick Adams references the immense potential of a wig to alter an appearance and construct a persona. The exhibition, which is on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art through May 29 alongside a survey of art and fashion photography titled The New Black Vanguard (opens May 8), shows nine of Adam’s portraits rendered in the artist’s distinct geometric style evocative of “Benin heads, Kwele masks, Kota reliquary figures,” and other West African masks and sculptures, he says in a statement.

Standing more than eight feet tall, the acrylic-and-graphite works center on busts with direct gazes, their faces mapped with different skin tones and makeup lining rounded eyelids and lips. The elaborate wigs in rainbow stripes and faded ombre are inspired by the salons and shops in Adams’ Brooklyn neighborhood. He reinterprets these functional wearables as bold, two-dimensional portraits that speak to the importance of hair in Black culture and the power of defining oneself through spectacular, joyful adornments. He explains about the works:

I feel more than ever that it is essential for artists to make work that celebrates Black culture. As a Black man, I am aware of my vulnerability and susceptibility to trauma and oppression on a daily basis. I personally don’t need to be reminded of it in art and choose to instead highlight Black normalcy. Those who participate in Black culture understand there are images that are less important for us to see than images of joy.

For more of Adams’ works across painting, sculpture, collage, and performance, visit his site and Instagram.

 

“Style Variation 33” (2020), acrylic paint and graphite on digital inkjet photograph, 245.1 x 153 x 4.4 centimeters

“Style Variation 34” (2020), acrylic paint and graphite on digital inkjet photograph, 245.1 x 153 x 4.4 centimeters

“Style Variation 37” (2020), acrylic paint and graphite on digital inkjet photograph, 245.1 x 153 x 4.4 centimeters

“Style Variation 28” (2020), acrylic paint and graphite on digital inkjet photograph, 245.1 x 153 x 4.4 centimeters

“Style Variation 32” (2020), acrylic paint and graphite on digital inkjet photograph, 245.1 x 153 x 4.4 centimeters

 

 

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Craft

Miniature Seascapes and Cities Top Elaborate Paper Wigs by Asya Kozina and Dmitriy Kozin

February 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Asya Kozina and Dmitry Kozin, shared with permission

Saint Petersburg-based paper artists Asya Kozina and Dmitriy Kozin situate miniature worlds atop their towering paper wigs. The detailed headdresses combine contemporary themes with historical elements, resembling the extravagant hair and head pieces of the Baroque period. A recent series crafted for Dolce & Gabanna features a whale and lobster with fins and claws woven through and sticking out from the tops of the elaborate pieces. Both have ships, as well, to add a human element. “We did this work and had (the) idea to do works with various marine monsters,” Kozina says. “In the old times, sailors believed in gigantic sea monsters… All characters are taken from folk myths.”

Since Kozina last spoke with Colossal, the scale and complexity of their monochromatic creations have changed, in addition to their public perception. “Our works fell into collections of museums, became symbols of some events related to the history and history of art and fashion,” she writes. “Our work is perceived not as photo props, but as artworks, sculptures, exhibition objects.” Head to Instagram or Behance to check out more of the artists’ sky-high creations.

 

 

 



Art Craft Design

Elaborate Historical Wigs Formed From Copper Wire by Bespoke Sculptor Yasemen Hussein

April 8, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Mixed media bespoke sculptor Yasemen Hussein explains that her art career was originally pointed in the direction of glass, but she found her passion for metalwork while working toward an MFA at Illinois State University. Now well established in her metal practice, Hussein uses copper electrical cable to form elaborate and sinuously lifelike hairdos. The video below, from London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, takes a look inside Hussein’s studio as she created wigs used by the V&A for their exhibit Opera: Passion, Power and Politics.

Hussein works in a coverted stable house in south London, where she manipulates the thin metal cables to simulate elaborate styles ranging from carefully coiled curls to the sweeping fan-like shapes of a geisha’s coif. Rather than creating exact replicas of realistic hair in every wig, Hussein incorporates artistic license to suggest the volume and gesture of each historical look.

In addition to her dramatic wigs, Hussein also creates geometric sculptural installations and delicate copper feathers. You can explore more of the sculptor’s work on her website.

 

 



Art

Sky-High Paper Wigs Topped With Modern Luxuries by Asya Kozina

October 16, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Paper artist Asya Kozina was inspired by the decadent wigs found in Baroque and Rococo still lifes, tall masses of hair adorned with objects that represent the ideals of luxury and beauty in the 17th and 18th centuries. Her series Skyscraper on the Head imagines how these outdated accessories might look if produced today, replacing the exotic fruits and birds of early centuries with airplanes, skyscrapers, and ferris wheels.

The project is a continuation of a series of Baroque paper wigs the artist began making in 2015. You can see more of Kozina’s life-size and miniature paper costumes on her Instagram and Behance. (via Design Boom)

 

 



Art Illustration

Portraits of People with Beards and Hairstyles Brimming with Life by Olaf Hajek

April 25, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Incorporating aspects of South American folklore, mythology, and religion, Berlin-based artist Olaf Hajek depicts thoughtful portraits of women and men infused with elements of life—often in their hairdos. Over the last few years Hajek’s illustration work has appeared in major publications from the New York Times to the Guardian, but he also exhibits his acrylic paintings on wood and cardboard in galleries around the world. His most recent collection of work is being published in a forthcoming book titled Olaf Hajek: Precious, and one of his pieces was selected for the Communication Arts Illustration Annual 58. You can see more of his work on Saatchi Art.