Hair

The Stories Behind Some of History’s Most Controversial Theatrical Productions

A play is causing a ruckus amongst our friends on the other side of the pond. The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Marat/Sade (The Persecution and Assassination of Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade) — originally written by Swedish playwright Peter Weiss — seems to be too “perverse” for British audiences. Ironically, the production was first staged at the RSC in 1964, where it was applauded for its progressive, avant-garde approach. Nearly 50 years later, up to 80 audience members a show are walking out on Marat/Sade — which is set in an insane asylum and revolves around inmate the Marquis de Sade’s play about the assassinated Jean Paul Marat. This play isn’t the first controversial theatrical work that upset audiences, however. Hit the jump for a look at other “shocking” stage productions. … Read More

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Pic of the Day: A Hairy Staircase

Using the architecture of Hot Springs, Arkansas’ abandoned Mountainaire Hotel, artist Jessica Wohl created an installation that features a staircase covered in hair. We can reassure you that the locks are indeed synthetic, but the creepy feeling you’re experiencing right now while thinking about trying to climb the staircase is the real deal. Wohl’s love for the uncanny is evident, and the way she’s transformed this rotting architectural space into something sweet (you’ll see why once you get a glimpse of the girly hair barrettes past the break) and sinister is pretty great. Click through for more. … Read More

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Embroidered Portraits Made with Human Hair

From cat hair to human hair, Colombian artist Zaira Pulido makes embroidery with her friend’s follicles. She takes long strands of human hair and stitches together portraits made with their own mane. The artist has also created images of personal objects like her brush and bra. There’s a long history of artists who use hair as their medium — the technique was also popular during Victorian times and Memento Mori funerary art — so it doesn’t seem that strange Pulido has taken to using lengthy locks for her pieces. The result is an expressive and fragile-looking image that resembles a drawing more than a traditional embroidered work. Click through for more. … Read More

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A Survey of Crazy Hairstyles in Art

This one is for all those brave gals and lads who don head-turning hair and are searching for some artistic inspiration. We’ve rounded up some tall, fun and twisted ones. Not to be confused with the competitive hair-chitecture at the Detroit’s Hair Wars. Not that constructions like this automobile-like beauty with spinning wheels aren’t impressive. Oh, they are. Let us look instead not at the specialized craftsmanship of awesomely crazy hair, but its momentary manifestations in art history and contemporary art. Here are some of the most snappy hairstyles that we could rustle up. Let us know if we missed your favorite. … Read More

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Hairy Art: Artists Who Use Hair as Their Medium

You may think it’s just there to keep your head warm – or to keep you from looking like an alien – but the truth is, hair has a variety of conflicting connotations with a distinct bearing on our lives. A shiny, full head of hair is a sign of health and attractiveness, or even a symbol of virility, but hair disconnected from the head (ie in your soup, in the shower drain, etc) is usually seen as dirty or disgusting, even though it’s not any more or less dead than it was when someone was wearing it. There have been many religious and social practices to do with the way hair is styled, indicating adherence to a set of beliefs or loyalty to a certain group, whether it be flappers chopping their hair off to protest the traditional role of women, to Hasidic Jews growing out their side curls, to punks rocking mohawks. It makes sense then that something so ubiquitous and yet with such possibility for controversy be integrated into the art world, where artists can both rebel against and embrace the implications. Click through to see our gallery of follicle art, and let us know what you think in the comments. … Read More

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Whose Hair? A Celebrity Coif Guessing Game

Celebrity hair is a much-discussed phenomenon — but is it art? Well, probably not, but in Whose Hair? by Christina Christoforou, it manages to be both art and a pretty good time. For the book, Christoforou, a prolific illustrator and artist who has created many artworks, both hairdo-related (a NYT-commissioned project drawing world leaders’ spouses’ hair) and also non-hairdo-related (cover art for Vladimir Nabokov’s Nikolai Gogol), has drawn a series of remarkably true-to life depictions of celebrity hair, leaving the faces blank, an invitation to guess at the rightful owners, and then draw, scribble or just pontificate into the space. The book, which is set to be published in March by Laurence King Publishing, includes more than 200 original drawings of world leaders, music icons, artists, TV personalities, and even Elizabethan poets (okay, one) for your perusal, but to tide you over until the pub date, we’ve pulled out a few of our favorites for your guessing pleasure. Click through to guess that hair! … Read More

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The Tress Test: Get a Piece of Lady Gaga (Hair)

News that makes us hyperventilate: just in time for Halloween, a super! deluxe! edition! of Lady Gaga’s platinum album The Fame, repackaged as a trick-or-treat box including a lock of Gaga’s hair. Gee, that is creepy, and gosh, that is awesome. The limited release will cost $100, far less than what we imagine an intrepid Ebay seller would charge for one her various wigs. Think about it: even Madonna tried to pull out that platinum weave. After the jump, we handicap the odds of Gaga’s most lucrative… Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. A never-before-seen interview of a 32-year-old Barack Obama, who was working to register Chicago voters at the time, has surfaced. [via The Daily Beast]
2. Rumors say that Bono’s over-the-top Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark musical may be threatened due to cash flow problems. [via Variety]
3. Meanwhile, the Tony-winning… Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Cultural Stories

1. Sarah Palin has an Op-Ed in today’s Washington Post about President Obama’s cap-and-trade energy plan. [via Gawker]
2. Quentin Tarantino plans to retire from filmmaking at age 60: “I don’t want to have to watch the movie I made to pay for my pool.” [via NYDN]
3. The producers of… Read More

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Quote of the Day: Broadway Woos Teens, One Lapdance at a Time

My son certainly seemed on a journey of some kind at “Hair,” the revival of the 1967 rock musical that transferred from the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. He asked to switch seats with me so he could be on the aisle — the better to encounter the dynamic cast members straddling people in the audience and spilling off the stage and roving all over the… Read More

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