Hair Theory III
Dewayne C. Wrencher
26’ x 38’

Shift Exhibition
March 2-May 4, 2018.
Fri 5-7pm
Sat 10am-Noon
Sun 10am-Noon


Hair Theory, is an experiment I worked on for five years. I questioned how much does my hair affect the ways in which people perceive me? To find answers I transitioned between five distinct hair styles during the experiment. The first was straight hair. I used a chemical to relax my natural curls and that process straightened my hair. Next, a low buzz cut with defined 360-degree waves and the sides tapered. Then cornrows (braids), shoulder length dreadlocks and finally a medium length afro. With each style, I had a very different sociological experience, which is represented in the line work on the face, but I left one area clear. There is no line work in that area because I felt the most enlightened at that time during the experiment. I was clear and did not need a “mask.”

In the creation of Hair Theory III, I went through the linocuts I’d done before this rendition and incorporated all of the elements that I liked from versions one and two. I used the stylized eyes from version one and headphones from the second to include more of myself in the portrait. I introduced an elongated neck in Hair Theory III which I used in the editions that followed because it adds a sense of agency to the portrait.

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