An Experiment in Barbershop Sketches
Have you ever been mesmerized by the sketches at a barbershop? Spain born artist Silvia Prada was also piqued, and consequently inspired to create a book paying homage to the barbershop, The New Modern Hair: A Styling Chart. Siliva has been an illustrator/artist since 2000 with illustrations in V, BlackBook, Dazed & Confused, and the now defunct UK magazine, The Face. Her poster installations have graced the walls of Paris’ Colette, MOCA Shanghai, MUSAC and Deitch Projects. I had a chat with Silvia about her new book and talked family, Spain, inspiration, and her cool little searches on eBay.
Jauretsi: When did you first begin illustrating and knew you were going to dedicate your life to this art form?
Silvia Prada: I started drawing in early 2000 for The Face magazine, after publishing my first book, and have since contributed to… [MORE] magazines that I respect and admire. It has been a great way to create a dialogue between my art and pop culture. Aside from my commissioned work, I create installations consisting of large-scale drawings and tear sheets of references that have informed my work. Before I decided to focus on illustration, I was a photographer and produced a lot of video art. I grew quickly tired of the multi-media overdose happening in the late 90’s, so I decided to simplify and pick up a pencil.
Q: The book pays homage to barbershops. As a woman, do you have personal stories around being inside barbershops or has it been a fascination from far away?
A: My father is a hair stylist. I grew up in a hair salon in Spain among hairstyle magazines and men’s beauty products, so this is inevitably quite personal for me. I guess this experience is what has cultivated my fascination with male beauty.
Q: Your book has specific haircuts - The College Contour, The Sportsman, etc.. — did you find these from old barbershop sketches or did you create original cuts? Explain how art is an element beside these sketches?
A: I did extensive research on haircuts and hairstyles from the 50’s and 60’s, even early 70’s. In addition, I also consulted with some experts in the field. However, as a POP artist, all the elements, language and structure of my work is my personal take on culture and iconography. It is the dialogue between my perspective and the grander scope that interests me and is unique to my visual education.
Q: It seems like you are celebrating more that a haircut. What is the overall spirit of why you chose barbershop theme?
A: That is such a great question. I do celebrate more than a haircut. This book is a statement about individualism and choice, but in a very romantic sense.
Q: In terms of being a vintage lover, have you ever used eBay? Is there a special find that is close to you?
A: I use Ebay a lot and it is always a resource for my inspiration. eBay was great and extremely helpful for this book to find unique vintage barber prints.
Q: What art movements are you inspired by the most?
A: POP Art and Romanticism
Q: Now that the book is coming out, what is next on your plate?
A: There’s a lot of projects on the table. I just finished a very special collaboration with (MALIN+GOETZ), which will also tie in with the official launch of my book on September 6th. I am also already planning my next book… and a t-shirt project.
The New Modern Hair: A Styling Chart, limited edition and numbered book and fold-out poster is available at Opening Ceremony, (MALIN+GOETZ) and select bookstores. Online at cultureEDIT.
(Photo Credit: Silvia Prada, EXECUTIVE CONTOUR, and ALEXANDER, and THE NEW MODERN HAIR: A STYLING CHART, book and foldout poster)