As some of you may already know from previous posts, I'm always on the look out for representations of natural hair in art work, whether old or new. You can check out some of my previous finds >here<.
Last night I attended the opening of an exhibition called 'Pelo Malo' by Jennifer Kaplan, at the Anise Gallery, in London Bridge.
The exhibition is only on for a short time and closes after this weekend, but it's free so if you get a chance, go and have a look.
Pelumi (Care For Your Hair) and I, were Guest Speakers for the evening, sharing our thoughts on the relevance of 'Pelo Malo'.
The great thing about art and exhibitions is their ability to draw a more diverse audience than most hair events. By the end of the evening I'd had many conversations with men of various races who had found the exhibition and talks to be 'quite an eye opener'. This also led to conversation about how the male experience compares to that of women and girls?
'Pelo malo' means 'bad hair' in spanish. It's a commonly used term in Latin America, often describing curly/coily non-straight hair.
Puerto Rican Artist/Curator Jennifer Kaplan, developed the exbition to explore this concept. After meeting Jennifer, it amazed me to find out that her loose curls had ever been considered 'pelo malo' by family and friends in Puerto Rico.
I really appreciate Jennifer taking the time to talk me through some of her work including a mixed media piece called 'Painless'. This piece was made of hairglue and paint on canvas and immediately made me think about the damage that many of us have done, and the pain many of us have gone through, in attempts to transform our hair type.
It was also lovely to meet some of the models who had been photographed by Jennifer.
The concept of 'Pelo malo' is one that I'm sure I'll come across again in my personal research on attitudes to Afro hair, so I'm very grateful to Jennifer for inviting me to the opening and for sharing her work.