Although he's coiffed the likes of A-listers such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Charlize Theron, Angelina Jolie, Kate Hudson and Tilda Swinton, Bob Recine is more of a sculptor than a traditional hair stylist—at least where his editorial work is concerned.
Take, for example, the shoot Recine did with Mario Sorrenti for Another Magazine c. 2003, in which the duo re-imagined the beautiful Jessica Miller as a frightening rainbow-bewigged clown that called to mind the late, great Leigh Bowery. Or the 1996 Numero images (also shot by Sorrenti) that utilized felt "makeup" and Play-Doh wigs to turn Vivien Solari into a not-quite-of-this-world living doll. Or the 2007 story that cast Natalia Vodianova as a modern day Lady Godiva-slash-Rapunzel.
These are just a few of the striking images to be found in Bob Recine: Alchemy of Beauty (Freedman|Damiani), the new book devoted to the work of this incredibly talented, inspirational and thought-provoking artist (for, as the many sketches, collages and paintings gathered here attest, Recine is much, much more than a run-of-the-mill hairstylist). No wonder he's Lady Gaga's go-to guy for OTT hairdos and headdresses.
While many of Recine's creations are decidedly beautiful—the floral headpiece worn by Eniko Mihalik in the April 2009 issue of W, for instance, or the delicate stack of topknots sported by Tanya Dziahileva in the Spring 2007 issue of V—the majority of images in this compendium are twisted and perverse in ways that force the viewer to confront their long-held notions of beauty, and of womanhood itself. And isn't that the purpose of all great art—to make you see things in a whole new light?
images courtesy Bob Recine Alchemy of Beauty