With Baldpieces, conceptual artists Scott Kelly and Ben Polkinghorne envisage an alternate reality. One where men proudly embrace balding by wearing magnificent headpieces designed to accentuate different balding patterns. To bring the idea to life, Kelly and Polkinghorne collaborated with eight incredible designers from around the world. Each used different materials and processes which ensured no two Baldpieces is the same.
The duo then sought out Rankin, who has photographed everyone from the Queen to David Bowie. Speaking about the idea, Rankin said “It just touched a nerve. It’s so confronting yet so unashamedly masculine. I wanted to help the project see the light of day – and help smash a taboo.”
Kelly and Polkinghorne took great care to ensure the project was respectful to men, saying “On some level, we thought of these as crowns – crowns to adorn balding crowns.” They’re also eager to see how the public responds, adding “So far, everyone we’ve talked to about the idea can relate in some way, shape or form. Balding men, girlfriend’s of balding men, even sons of balding men sporting full heads of hair.” And as to whether or not they think Baldpieces will catch on in the real world? “We’ll have to wait and see. And keep an eye out at fashion shows.”
Below, HUNGER catches up with the dynamic duo to discuss their creative process and what’s next for Baldpieces.
Great to meet you! As a first question, how would you describe the work you do?
There’s a sense of play in a lot of the work you do — why is that important to you?
Can you tell us a bit about the thought process behind your Baldpieces project?
What about the process of producing the headpieces?
What’s next for the project?
This feature is taken from our Taking Back Control issue. Order your copy here.