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icelandic artist shoplifter creates fuzzy, forest-like installations of synthetic hair

fuzzy forests

 

hrafnhildur arnardóttir, or ‘shoplifter,’ creates colorful and immersive landscape installations entirely of synthetic hair. the artist, who grew up in iceland and later became a new yorker, calls herself a ‘colorful maximalist’ and introduces her ‘nervescapes’ as works of synthetic hyper nature, environments that embrace the viewer like a fictional forest. the installations invite the visitor to enter and ‘space out’ within them. rather than striving to discover a meaning behind the art, the viewer can allow themself to become emotionally affected by the therapeutic colors.

shoplifter hair installationsimages courtesy of shoplifter

 

 

shoplifter’s connection with hair

 

in creating her installations, shoplifter recognize the intimate, emotional connection that people have with hair. it is often what shapes our identity, marking stages of our lives across memory. the artist notes her first realization of this, reflecting on the discovery of her grandmother’s braid in her vanity drawer, a ‘morbid’ but ‘beautiful’ relic of her youth. upon cutting off her own braid soon afterward, she remembers her disappointment, realizing she had short hair. ‘I just wanted the braid! it didn’t occur to me that it would be such a transformation.‘ 

shoplifter hair installations

 

 

‘I haven’t met a color I didn’t like’

 

shoplifter describes the joy of mixing colors, and the balance between the synthetic and natural. she notes, ‘I haven’t met a color I didn’t like.’ while artists have been mixing colors to create landscape paintings across time, shoplifter instead imagines abstractions of so-called hyper nature. ‘I’m not competing with nature, I exaggerate and create this abstraction that resembles it. it isn’t literal.’

 

shoplifter’s hair installations are envisioned with a great respect for vanity. although it gets a bad rap, the artist comments that it is ‘the source of great creative energy,’ and that without vanity, ‘the world wouldn’t be as beautiful.’

shoplifter hair installations
the installations are abstractions of so-called ‘hyper nature’ icelandic artist shoplifter creates fuzzy, forest-like installations of synthetic hair
shoplifter recognize the intimate, emotional connection that people have with hair

shoplifter-hair-installations-designboom-06

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