The Male Coif Gets Another Look

Silvia Prada’s exhibit The New Modern Hair opened this week in Los Angeles. Featuring contributions from Collier Schorr, Xevi Muntané, Jimmy Paul, Bruce LaBruce, and Candy magazine’s Luis Venegas, the artist took to examining the male identity through a near-universal characteristic: the coif. Prada has created a series of drawings in large formats in striking detail, highlighting classic barbershop imagery, with each illustration referencing a different moment in masculinity. A slicked-back sheen references the impeccable masculinity of Gregory Peck in the 50s, juxtaposed against the more tousled and carefree locks of, say, James Dean.

Accompanying pieces by Prada’s collaborators and friends, as curated by Joakim Andréasson, dares you to ask what exactly is so incongruous about a man in a fur coat and cat-eye glasses. Hair and grooming is a ritual shared by men and women, and Prada’s exhibit demonstrates how styling and attention to appearance has blurred the lines between masculinity and femininity. Quite the gender-bending start to 2013.

The New Modern Hair, January 18 – February 26, Pacific Design Center, 409 Westbourne Drive, L.A. 

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