For years, international celebrity hairstylist Jawara Wauchope has been pushing the boundaries on what his role actually means, taking it upon himself to create intricate works of art that draw just as much, if not more, attention than the fanciful garments and dramatic scenery they're often paired with — all while uplifting Black hair and identity at the core of his output.
Now, in partnership with the international creative agency Art Partner, Jawara's work is getting the attention it deserves with COARSE: The Edges of Black Ingenuity, a virtual exhibition curated by Jawara himself, featuring photographs of his work showcasing Black and Afro hairstyles as the art forms that they are and have always been.
"When I think about the culture of Black hair, I think immediately of how we have managed to use hair as a sense of expression, as well as identity," Jawara shared with NYLON over email. "I believe that Black hair has been discriminated against and been made to seem like it’s difficult, but actually, it’s extremely versatile and can do every and anything, as well as shape-shift. I would love to amplify the beauty of Black hair and how beautiful it is, down to the texture."
Hosted on Art Partner.com, COARSE will run from October 22nd through December 2020, featuring work from today's most prominent young photographers and the hairstylist's close collaborators, like Tyler Mitchell, Nadine Ijewere, and Kyle Weeks among others, along with some unpublished images by Oliver Hadlee Pearch.
The format allows users to navigate the virtual experience in the comfort of their own home for free, an accessibility that is not lost on either party. Complete with an option to opt into an audio tour with Jawara, users will also be able to experience a more intimate showing, with the artist helping to guide viewers through each of his creations, and the inspiration, vision, and story behind them. As Black artistry continues to receive its long overdue flowers in every regard — from hair, to photography, and art — this special and rare experience is certainly one you won't want to miss.
"It is my intention to use this platform to curate a storied journey of triumph through the power of our follicles," Jawara shared in a press release. "I was taught at a young age that "hair is strength" by my mother who hasn't cut her hair in 43 years. I believe that the best way to convey this truth is through beauty."
See the artist's full announcement below, and experience COARSE at artpartner.com.