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Artist Paints Portraits of Black Women Using Real Hair To Show the Beauty of Natural Styles

3D Hair Portrait by Tyler Clark

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.

Portrait Using Real Hair by Tyler Clark3D Portrait by Tyler Clark

The varieties of hairstyles showcase the beauty and versatility of natural hair.

Portrait Using Real Hair by Tyler Clark3D Portrait by Tyler ClarkPortrait Using Real Hair by Tyler ClarkPortrait Using Real Hair by Tyler Clark3D Hair Portrait by Tyler Clark3D Hair Portrait by Tyler ClarkPortrait Using Real Hair by Tyler Clark

Clark shows her work in detail through her Instagram:

 

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Tyler Clark: Website | Instagram 

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Tyler Clark.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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