Artist Tyler Clark brings her paintings of Black women to life using an unconventional material. Each of her portraits features painted faces that incorporate real hair as a way to showcase both the beauty and versatility of natural styles. “I love braids and locks the most,” Clark tells My Modern Met. “Braids because there are so many different styles I can create with them. I love locks because they beautifully symbolize strength and commitment to me.”
Clark went to school for mathematics and mechanical engineering, and she turned to art as a stress reliever from her rigorous coursework. “I wanted my art to be different and I never saw hair on art before,” she explains. “I decided to push the limits of what I have seen to try something new. I love hair and have a lot of it, so it was always important for me to learn how to style it. This art style is a way for me to blend art and hair together.” Since then, her portraits have gone viral and wowed people online—including celebrities like Chance the Rapper.
The use of real hair speaks to a larger intention behind Clark’s stunning creations. By showcasing her subjects rocking many types of stylish hairstyles, she hopes to show them as a vehicle for individuality, and something that Black women and girls should be proud of. “As a Black woman with kinky curly hair, there is a self-love discovery that comes along with hair,” she explains. “I used to get a relaxer to permanently straighten my hair because I didn’t find beauty in my natural hair texture. It always felt like a lot to manage. Now that I have gone natural and embrace my hair texture, I want to help other girls and women do the same.”
Clark sells her work as originals as well as 3D canvas prints with real hair added. You can purchase it all through her online shop on her website.
Artist Tyler Clark creates portraits of Black women using real hair.
The varieties of hairstyles showcase the beauty and versatility of natural hair.