Hair-razing artwork

Adam Wozniak’s decision to shave off his considerable mane of hair in the name of ‘art’ was something that I couldn’t wait to witness. He began his performance with shoulder length hair – presumably the product of at least two years of growth. Five minutes later he was almost bald. I had thought this was a drastic act of attention-seeking, but the look on his face as his tresses fell to the floor said otherwise. It seemed like this actually meant a lot to him. I expected the locks to be lopped off by the artist himself (perhaps with a sword?), but instead we were witnessing a haircut. The barber used an electric razor and worked his way round his scalp in a spiral. The transformation was fascinating to watch and by the end Wozniak looked like a different person. Unfortunately the barber got carried away with the attention and took an excessive amount of time and care in finishing off the cut. This detracted from the momentum of the piece.

When he had finally left, the ‘real’ art began. Wozniak’s hair had fallen to the floor in a matted pile, which he proceeded to make into a rather straggly paintbrush. Using a long wooden pole and some gaffer tape, Wozniak’s tool resembled a broomstick. He then mixed a trough of watery pale blue paint in front of us, smearing the excess on his newly shaved head.

Accompanied by Indian music, Wozniak proceeded to dunk his ‘brush’ in the mixture and turned to face a huge transparent canvas. His method of painting can only be described as esoteric. In mock tai-chi style, Wozniak waved his long pole before beginning a series of bold strokes and occasionally lunging at his canvas. The final piece was a combination of long sweeping lines. It was constructed as a triptych, but he allowed his composition to cross the boundaries of the frame. Although the piece was striking, it was more interesting as a product of the performance than as a standalone work. Bold and bald, Wozniak’s artistic concept was new and engaging. Occasionally the execution was self-indulgent .

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Wozniak took his project very seriously, sometimes to a laughable extent. I’m not sure what he was trying to prove, but the performance was a reminder of the transient nature of art: hair today, gone tomorrow