Artist Talk & Book Signing: Charlie le Mindu

September 14, 2016
Kemp Auditorium

Paris-based visual artist Charlie le Mindu will deliver an artist talk, followed by a book signing of Haute Coiffure. The event is hosted by Barrett Barrera Projects and the Sam Fox School, and presented in conjunction with CHARLIE WOULD..., which opens September 15 at projects+gallery.

Le Mindu has pioneered the use of human hair, among other nontraditional materials, to amalgamate the worlds of fashion, performance art, sculpture, and installation. Honing his skills from a young age in salons and nightclubs, he learned to fashion wigs into works of art, developing the unique brand of "haute coiffure" that has since made him famous.

Le Mindu’s artistic practice is influenced by the subcultures of European nightlife and drag performance, vaudeville, and performance art. He uses the iconography and spirit of these expressive spheres to create installations and innovative artistic experiences that are in dialogue with the contemporary social and cultural milieu, and also the larger historical continuum of fashion and art. By metamorphosing the wearer, le Mindu establishes his own aesthetic that references ancient mythology, fantastical bestiaries, and most importantly, his very own transgressive imagination.

Le Mindu's sculptures and performance compositions have been exhibited in numerous institutions including the Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain, Palais de Tokyo, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Additional projects, including art direction of the storefront windows at Galeries Lafayette Paris and Bordeaux, reflect the regard of the fashion and art world for his dramatic, offbeat design aesthetic.

Le Mindu's current movement toward performance transforms the contemporary art institution, presenting performances that exist in a space between the worlds of fashion and art. The artist, a polymath in the truest sense, combines his talents in music, video, dance, and design to compose a beautiful, visceral otherworld that draws upon the clever reverie and penetrating psychology of Surrealism. References to primitive art, anatomical metonymy, and ethereal physical expressions in his performance work recall the art of seminal Surrealists including Salvador Dali and René Magritte, while the throbbing dance music, strobe lights, and glitter thrust the viewer into the fresh-faced, campy European club scene.