St. Louis’ projects + gallery is pleased to present “Charlie Would...,” the U.S. solo debut of Paris-based multidisciplinary artist Charlie le Mindu. Le Mindu is known for pioneering the use of human hair as an artistic medium and combines fashion, performance art and installation in his work. The show will run September 15 to December 3, 2016, and features some of his best-known sculptural works.
"Charlie is one of the most electrifying artists working today,” says Susan Barrett, founder and president of Barrett Barrera Projects. “His pieces challenge us to look at new mediums and redefine what we think of as sculpture.”
Born in Bergerac, France and raised in the French wine country of Castelnau-de-Médoc, Charlie le Mindu has lived and worked throughout Europe. His 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 both the fashion and art worlds in his dramatic, offbeat design aesthetic.
Le Mindu’s artistic practice is influenced by the subcultures of European nightlife and drag performance, while his iconography finds influence in subjects as varied as ancient mythology, fantastical bestiaries, and medieval headdresses. More than just wearable art capable of transforming and extending the human body, within the space of the gallery his sculptures recall both natural and fantastical imagery: fluorescent jellyfish float in the darkness, while large winged creatures hover, both ominous and inviting, before the viewer.
In ‘Charlie Would….’ Charlie le Mindu demonstrates the limits of his medium and the limits of traditional definitions of art. Using sculpture and movement, le Mindu coalesces contemporary culture and our primal selves into creations simultaneously reminiscent of African art and European clubwear. The artist pushes the material boundaries of synthetic and human hair, developing techniques that treat hair much in the same way that fur has been treated and fetishized for its aesthetic and sensual qualities in the larger historical continuum of fashion. Charlie le Mindu is redefining the fetish by reexamining hair not only as a means of personal decoration, but as a material with which we can fashion the self and manifest the imagination.
Appealing to the artist’s subversive personality, influences and oeuvre, ‘Charlie Would....’ asks us to consider, what else would Charlie do?
“Charlie Would...” is made possible with generous support from HairDreams, The Dominic Michael Salon, and the Lindenwood University Fashion Design Program. Barrett Barrera Projects is the artistic representative for Charlie le Mindu.