Hair today, art tomorrow

Italian artist Maurizio Anzeri's latest exhibition consists of sculptures made from long ropes of synthetic human hair.
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There is nothing in the artist’s rule book to say you must use nothing but paint, charcoal and graphite with which to sketch your masterpiece. But some artists choose more unusual mediums than others, as Italian artist Maurizio Anzeri will attest.

The 2010 Vauxhall Collective bursary winner’s latest exhibition, The Garden Party, features ghostly installations constructed entirely out of hair. Unlike Marc Quinn, who fashioned three-dimensional self-portraits out of his own blood, Anzeri has not chosen to use human materials. The long blonde and brunette locks are synthetic, and are certainly not his own.

Anzeri refers to each sculpture as a “presence,” an apt description for the ethereal forms. The hand-stitched figures were inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway, totemic cultures and the grandeur of 17th Century Versailles, according to the artist. He chose to use hair because he says it is “the most sculptural part of the human body.”

The show is being held at Q Forum in central London. Anzeri’s hair characters compliment the timeless bookshelves the venue, which was until recently the premises of antique bookseller Bernard Quaritch.

Click here or on the image to preview the exhibition

'The Garden Party' is at Q Forum in Lower John Street, Soho, London until 31 October