• Hairstylist Mauro Basso was inspired to recreate paintings from artist Andrea Kowch. His work is on the left, while the original artwork is shown on the right.
  • Hairstylist Mauro Basso was inspired to recreate paintings from artist Andrea Kowch. His work is on the left, while the original artwork is shown on the right.

Hair Imitates Art

Renowned Italian hairstylist and salon owner Mauro Basso, who has been featured in top publications such as Glamour Italy, Vanity Fair Italy and, recently found inspiration in the works of American artist Andrea Kowch (read our interview with her here). Basso brought her dreamlike paintings to life by reinterpreting the scenes she so beautifully (and sometimes hauntingly) depicted with live models and intricate hairstyles. We spoke to the talented hairdresser about his love of art and the Oribe products he used in this shoot.

How does art inspire your work as a hairstylist?

Art is everywhere, and here in Italy, we are especially fortunate to see artworks daily and on every street corner. My creative process starts with observation of each little thing surrounding me, then—I don't really know how to explain it—something begins to sprout up in my mind to become a vague idea and grows slowly into something almost material…something that I can see and grasp. Thus, I can shape my idea and actualize it in my work, which nowadays is divided between my atelier (Salon Norma in Bolzano, Italy), creative workshop and artistic interpretation projects.

What do you love about Andrea's work?

Art inhabits every place—it's enough just to hold it up and take a careful look. Often, when you seek something, you can't find it. Over the years, I've learned that creative success can't be forced; it must come to me. That was exactly what happened when I got to know the work of Andrea Kowch. I saw her paintings in a magazine that I usually don't buy, and it was like a sudden shock. These paintings, these images, struck me and for days I didn't manage to think about anything else. Almost immediately, I got the idea of implementing a photo shoot in tribute to these artworks with my work team.

What I most love about Andrea's paintings is the motion effect (hair, animals, wind, etc.), as well as the atmospheric landscapes, the characters' depth and the colors used by the artist. We chose works where hair movement and similarity with our rural life were most protrusive. In a way, I've always been inspired by art, as normally it represents something that goes beyond the real and, therefore, it's an enormous source of ideas regarding various volumes, dimensions and textures. Furthermore, Andrea is a young, blooming artist in the world of art, like a rising star in the vault of heaven.

Why did you choose to recreate these paintings for a photo shoot?

Art is a sublime feature, sometimes so elusive that, in my humble opinion, it should pervade our daily life more frequently. Within this chaotic world, the beauty of an artwork is a kind of hope, and it's this axiom that, from ancient times has been inducing our world to rotate.

My hairstyle creativity is generated by this awareness. Hence, I observe, then capture and, finally, reinterpret and re-elaborate what is called art. My goal is that of transmitting and fixing an image, a sensation and, mostly, a one-off hairstyle or haircut at a specific moment. In this very case, we wanted to pay tribute to a young but extraordinarily evocative artist.

Which Oribe products did you use for the shoot?

For the most part, we used texturizing products. We prepped hair with Shampoo for Magnificent Volume and applied combinations of Curl by Definition, Curl Shaping Mousse, Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse, Thick Dry Finishing Spray, Soft Dry Conditioner Spray, Rough Luxury Soft and Superfine Strong Hair Spray.
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