Wednesday, March 2, 2011

An entity, an organ--a wig!

I stumbled upon La Perruquiere, the visual biography zine of female wigmaker and performance artist Gloria Toyun Park, at an artbook store in Santa Monica.  

Gloria Park's Groucho Marx-like eyebrows, one inch high by two-inch wide symmetrical rectangles, shocked her peers at UCSD in 1989, and continued making profound impressions on people whereever she went.  Donning saran wrap and steak before Gaga, her irreproducible style coupled with her obsessions with wigs made Park a sensationalistic celebrity from Hollywood to New York City's Temple Bar scene.  She channeled her aunt's wig shop in Hollywood into a passion for wig assemblages-structures or as she termed them "Wig Disasters."  Ms. Park's "Fanasty Wigs" are linked with human self-conception and notions of attractiveness, as well as Park's Korean ethnicity, female identity and family custom.  

Many of the images in this zine are from live performances or in debt to James Steven Cox, English author of The Illustrated Dictionary of Hairdressing and Wigmaking, who has done a lifetime of scholarly research in wig making and its history.  

La Perruquiere means the female wigmaker
Electrical Eyebrows 

Extravaganza Coiffure, 1776 and "Glo-Toy Triplets," 1995

Like musical wigs in a meatlocker
Buddha and Gloria Park in Grace Park, 1989, and "La Fregate La Junon," 1778

Published by Elk Zine 2007