Art Bets: Jan Parker at FLOOD Gallery

There may be no other substance as beloved and hated as hair. Cultural icons like Farrah Fawcett and The Beatles inspired social movements with their hairdos, while a lone hair typically provokes revulsion when found in a baked good, on a bar of soap or in the shower drain. Fascinated, artist Jan Parker has been collecting the stuff from family, friends and anonymous donors for the past 10 years. She brings it all to Asheville this month for her exhibition, Beneath the Skin … an Extension of My DNA which examines the ancestral and biological significance of hair. Parker is an MFA graduate from Western University and currently lives in Chicago. For this exhibition she piles a whole lot of hair (about 20 pounds worth) onto the floor of the gallery and positions a pared-down bed and box spring on top of the mass – the steely hardness of the bed’s coils contrast with the sea of soft curls. ‘Both the hair and the stripped bed are saturated with meaning and together they convey a narrative of altered identity,’ reads the press release. An artist reception will be Friday, Aug. 31 from 6-9 p.m. at Flood Gallery, 109 Roberts St.

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