Bless, Boudicca, Sandra Backlund

Unlike many previous artists and designers who engaged in reappropriation, Bless does not have Surrealist aims. Rather, their embrace of this approach is motivated by necessity. For example, in 1999 they produced a hairbrush with human hair in place of bristles. “People want to give our hairbrush a Surrealistic heritage,” says Bless of the design, which has been compared to the work of fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, who was known for collaborations with artists such as Salvador Dalí, “but when we created the product it had nothing to do with Surrealism. Curators Eva Svennung and Alexis Vaillant from Toasting Agency had asked us to propose the haircut of the month and instead of a haircut we thought of people who cut off their long hair and want to keep the braid as a souvenir. The brush is like a jewelry case for hair. We see it as an absolutely functional piece.”

Bless. Hairbrush, 1999. Courtesy of Bless.