Hairetics 1979-2013

In 1979 I was using a 0.07mm Rapidograph pen to draw. The line was so fine it resembled a strand of hair. In a letter to a friend I wrote using the 0.07mm Rapidograph pen I quipped “Do you like my hair line?” In the very moment that I wrote that I saw in my mind’s eye a drawing where the line was actually made with hair. Soon after I conceived of a way to make a drawing in which I used hair to create lines and shapes.

I worked on a sticky, clear surface on which I move and positioned individual strands of hair in a way that was more sculptural than graphic and unlike drawing allowed me to move the lines after an initial placement to a new position (if desired) instead of using an eraser or starting from scratch. The sticky surface finally allowed the hair lines to become fixed in a desired position.

The final drawing was startling and shockingly new; when looked at very closely one could see all the subtle twists and turns of each individual stand of hair in each line of the drawing. This gave a strangely organic feel to the drawings that made them almost seem like they were growing. At the same time they had the cold, cool and mechanical precision of etchings.