"Inside every clean-shaven man there is a beard screaming to be let out."
- -1973, Psychology Today Magazine

"There's many a man who has more hair than wit"
- - Shakespeare

Kind Rube, Winnie Truong 2010

As noted in Living in Hairy Times, Part II, the artist Winnie Truong's large scale drawings and prints are growing ever more popular in the US and in Canada. Part II of Living in Hairy Times examined Truong’s hair-centric oeuvre, and revealed connections between her created character's hair styles and hair's cultural manifestation throughout history. Her work was also compared to the works of other artists, and parallel works concerning hair from other periods of art. Hair itself was examined in a sociological and sometimes political context. 

This analysis and exploration will continue in Part III of Living in Hairy Times, as Truong's works will form the path that we will take through male facial hair, beards and "bearding", feminist and other art practices through a selection of artists in the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's, identity based artworks, and more contemporary works that all have hair as common thread. Classic hair art will be reviewed and put in a new context with other lesser known works.



Current popular interest in facial hair is evident in our media culture, and Ms. Truong is capitalizing on this in her finely honed pencil drawings. "Bearding" is a declared sport, as revealed in IFC's recent show "Whisker Wars."

In Beard Championships worldwide, individuals may enter into facial hair categories such as the "Fu Manchu" competitive style, to the "Garibaldi" to the "Partial Beard Freestyle."

Dieter Besuch, of Germany, won the gold in the Partial Beard Freestyle category in the World Beard Championship in 2011, with circling tripled wings to each side. See below:

It is not the common man who only is now preening the facial hairs - celebrities are also concerned about freedom of facial expression too. Conan O'Brien, late night talk show host, expressed his recent freedom from prime time, by growing his beard for his new show on TBS. O'Brien further proved the current importance of facial hair freedom on his show, by stating the reason he came to TBS was that they let him keep his beard and his co-host. In May 2011, capitalizing on the beard focus of the show's transition, or perhaps to keep the "Team Coco" alive, Conan invited Will Ferrell to shave his beard on his show. Will Ferrell had a very well publicized moment shaving Conan O'Brien's beard on May 3, 2011.

Mysterious Johnny Depp - normally ahead of the curve - starting sporting a beard as early as the 90's prior to the current hipster State of Beardiness, but apparently he might be going against the trend in his typically arcane manner. (Ironically, this happened on the same day that Conan shaved his beard. I wonder - does this mean that the beard trend could be on the slow wane again?)

In the 1960's and 70's when hair was in abundance and there were copious amounts of men wearing moustaches the times were similarly dealing with increased gas prices, the instabilities of war, and a disenchantment with the government and establishment. Perhaps this is what is providing the blank canvas for so much social hairy expression today as well.


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