24 May 2024

Counter-Couture: New Heights of Hairstyling Excellence

There are often times when arts and crafts overlap. Both require technique, a certain sense of esthetics, and a creative spur. But while crafts often imply a more practical purpose, there is also pure art for art’s sake.

It is purely pleasurable or provocative: stimulating the mind and the soul, while making the mundane more mystical. We have the pleasure of featuring some extraordinary images by visionary hair artists, each inspired by very personal experience, all with obvious elements of profound artistic and cultural influences. Sean Foley created imagery where the texture of the model’s hair is the protagonist. But the composition is highly innovative for today, with a triangular composition that evokes that of the Madonna’s of Renaissance paintings (sans infant), but inverted. The crackled surface of the aged oil and tempera paints has been emulated with the clouded imperfection of a scratched glass lens to further enhance the moonlight effect of purely feminine beauty.

There’s another masterpiece by Aveda’s Antoinette Beenders, renowned for her creative impulse both on-stage and backstage. Inspired by the highly personal theme of circus troupes and nomadic performers –with whom this Dutch artist transplanted first to England and then again to the USA feels an affinity– everything about these images narrates the lives of those portrayed without words; not because they are mute images, but because their white-faced personages speak in poignant gestures and expressions. The photographs were even given a grainy, retro aura about them.

When Joico’s Liza Espinoza met up with illustrator Brittany Bindrim and photographer Emily Gualdoni, they drew their inspiration from pop artist Roy Lichtenstein‘s famous “Drowning Girl”. Taking her cue from the watery turbulence of the original work, Bindrim created a mural of black and white swirls and waves. Although Espinoza colored and styled the models in inky hues, they are far from drowning in the raging torrents, but rather gracefully dancing amidst them. Bobs are empowered, arched fringes, and large looped sections make for asymmetrical sculptured shapes. Espinoza explains, “All of these shapes were designed to be powerful yet feminine.” Mission accomplished! Inspiration at its best!

By Marie Scarano



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