“Art is everywhere, and everywhere is art.”
Art is not limited to just painting or singing, it is present in every place we can possibly think of. Therefore, lies endless possibilities of coming up with a new idea to experiment with each day. To prove this, there cannot be a better example than the Ivorian Artist Laetitia Ky. She is the one who has used an entirely new creative medium of tresses to express herself, her opinions and her Art. From sculpting her long hair into a variety of shapes like human hands to bunny ears and even the African continent, she creates every possible thing from her vivid imagination.
The incredibly creative talent of this young 21-year-old artist has attracted immense attraction. It indeed gets reflected with the growing number of followers on her Social Media accounts.
What inspired the Ivorian Artist Laetitia Ky?
Laetitia’s art seeks inspiration from African tribal hairstyles, especially to celebrate the complex relationship that exists between African women and their hair. In various cultures, women are made to believe that their hair is thick, woolly and undesirable. It is a belief being passed on by generations making women change its form. But with movements like Natural Hair Movement that began a decade back, black women started celebrating their natural hair. They pushed back at racist beauty standards that forced them to manipulate their hair more like white Europeans. This is what Laetitia also looks forward to.
In an interview with TheCultureTrip, she says:
“In everything I do, particularly in my work, I take inspiration from Africa. I therefore thought of representing one of my main sources of inspiration in a hairstyle. Because I used braids as a form of expression for quite some time. I wore Africa on my head like a crown, because I see the African woman as a beautiful princess who is who she is. Thanks to all the values that Africa bestows on her.”
While KY’s art is playful in nature, but it also carries a serious and an important message just as Aristotle says:
“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”
In fact, Ky’s efforts can also be seen as an attempt to “shift the narrative of the #MeToo Movement“. The movement started 10 years ago by a black woman working to help sexual assault survivors find the courage to speak up about their experiences. To support the cause, she even sculpted one such picture.
To know what is #MeToo Movement, check out my blog on it.
Besides being vocal about the various Movements and supporting African woman, she also looks forward to encouraging people with her Art for which she says:
“I want to encourage people to be and express themselves, to expose their creativity and not be afraid to be themselves. I want to show that difference is beautiful.”
How the Ivorian Artist Laetitia Ky sculpts her hair?
To sculpt her hair into various shapes, Ky uses thread, needle, fabric, metallic wire, wool, hair extensions, hairpins. She also uses various props such as fresh flowers, gold-lined spectacles, cellphone and a guitar.
To bring these hair sculptures to life, it almost takes her anywhere between 20 minutes to 2 hours.
Ky says that once an idea strikes her mind and she plans to do it, it only takes several trials until it looks real. In the case of sculpting the hands, once she got the technique it only took her one & a half hours to make the pair of hands.
In an interview with BBC, she showed how she does it. Watch it here:
In fact, when she started she did the photo shoot herself aloof in her room with the tripod and timer. She shot for half the day until she ended up with 14 satisfactory shots. Once she posted them, she received a huge welcome with eventually becoming a massive hit. She mentions:
“It was the first time something I made went viral! It was wildly reposted and by quite influential media.”
Her other interests
Besides sculpting, the Ivorian hairdresser has other art projects in the pipeline including fashion webcast projects. She also works with a friend on a comic inspired from the character of one of the photo series she created. Ky also looks forward to launching a line of clothing and accessories. She might as well end up with screenwriting and acting.