Activist symbols and witty scenarios are woven into towering hair sculptures by Laetitia Ky


#activism #books #hair

May 13, 2022

Gabrielle Lawrence

All images courtesy of Princeton Architectural Press, shared with permission

Laetitia Ky exercises artistic activism by weaving African identity into hair sculpture. Born out of the lack of representation she experienced growing up in the Ivory Coast, her practice began by cutting the silky straight locks of her Barbie doll heads and meticulously stitching back the curly extensions as a child. In love and righteousness, Ky’s imposing sculptures are integrated into aspects of everyday life. She draws on the strength and durability of black hair texture to weave traditional instruments, regional wildlife and moving bodies into interactive portraits that capture the beauty of common aspects of culture across the continent.

Each image in this 200-page collection published by Princeton Architectural Press makes a statement. Ky explores the roots of this work through the creative form and design of traditional pre-colonial African hairstyles. She uses symbols in her sculptures to respond to current struggles like a scale of justice balancing gender icons on either side, a womb with fallopian tubes that turn into a middle finger, or stretch marks on a woman’s body. In her chapter on self-love, Ky’s images explore the joys of self-knowledge with acts such as playing a guitar made of hair, toasting a braided glass of wine, or wrapping one hand around her neck. life size that offers the scent of a flower.

Head toward Library to purchase these memoirs that offer insight into the artist’s journey to embracing black beauty, and check out her viral hair sculptures and portraits at instagram.

#activism #books #hair

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