High Brow is a participatory artist book created from the direct prints of eyebrows created by the artist Rachelle Beaudoin, of Peterborough, NH. She has enlisted friends, contacts, and strangers, both men and women, to create each page of the book from a unique individual’s eyebrow printed directly on to the page. With each sitter, she will created 8 small prints from one eyebrow. She will then selected the 5 strongest prints for a limited professionally bound edition of 5 books. The social aspect of this work is extremely important. Sitting and talking with the participants mimics other intimate cosmetic rituals like getting your hair washed and cut by another person or getting your eyebrows waxed.
The varying shapes, textures, colors and sizes of the eyebrows will added visual interest while the similarities of the content will unify them. She printed a single eyebrow from each person, which abstracted and unfamiliarized the form. They will become like textured brush strokes on the page. The prints act like a portrait of each sitter, playing off of the scientific analysis of DNA in hair as a personal identifier.
In recent years eyebrows have become the center of the beauty and cosmetics world, with a trend towards a full brow. This fixation and obsession is what Beaudoin is responding to in her work. The trend towards fuller eyebrows is particularly interesting as it illustrates the beauty myth and shows how cultural conventions and standards change revealing themselves as constructs. Since the 1990s, there has been a marked shift in the aesthetics of eyebrows compared to the present day style.
To complete the project, hosted house party, enlisted students and colleagues work and printed strangers eyebrows Gravity Gallery in North Adams, MA. The book contains the eyebrows prints from 100 participants.
Rachelle Beaudoin is an artist who uses video, wearables, and performance to explore feminist issues and identity within popular culture. She attended the College of the Holy Cross and holds a Master’s degree in Digital+Media from Rhode Island School of Design. She was a Fulbright artist-in-residence at quartier21 in Vienna, Austria in 2014. In 2015, she was a Clowes Fund Fellow at Vermont Studio Center. She currently teaches at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester MA.
Iphie Burg & Susan Sudhalter - Authors of You are a Voice
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