To Matthew Kazarian, the act of cutting hair goes hand in hand with creative disciplines such as drawing and painting. “I cut hair the same way I take pictures, collage, make a film or paint” he explains, “they are just ways to tell a story or communicate an idea”. An instructor at the Sassoon Academy in Los Angeles, Kazarian photographs every haircut he does, often reworking the resulting images into playful collages, paintings and GIFs.
With a candid, snapshot aesthetic, his images examine hair from all angles. In true Sassoon style, he has a love of sharp geometric cuts. He also creates artwork under the alias ‘The Devil’s Lasso’, using Instagram as a platform. Here he explores some of his more unusual ideas, far from the hairdressing realm. Such as? “I recently made a short film” Kazarian states, “on people’s loneliness and apparitions of the Virgin Mary”.
What inspires you? Inspiration is difficult to credit to a single source, but for me I can say that ultimately I’m driven by curiosity, which then leads me to discovery. I believe that when something catches your eye, makes you think or provokes an emotion, it’s important to investigate that initial spark and explore its meaning.
What is the role of different creative mediums in your work? I think it is imperative for every artist to document his or her work. Photography has always been a hobby of mine, long before I began to cut hair. When I started cutting hair, I wanted to communicate to people what I was looking at. I cut hair in the same way I take pictures, collage, make a film or paint. They are just ways to tell a story or communicate an idea.
Tell us about ‘The Devil’s Lasso’? It’s a project I started in order to test ideas which are either incomplete, or differ from the work I’m known for. Originally I didn’t intend for anyone to see it, but with Facebook being the great notifier of everyone’s exact activities and whereabouts, somehow it let people know “Matthew Kazarian is on Instagram as thedevilslasso.” I don’t mind though. The content on it isn’t interesting to most people.
What do you consider the most valuable lesson to teach an aspiring hairdresser? Always ask why.
“I think it is imperative for every artist to document his or her work”