Roos Van Der Vliet, a painter from the Netherlands, crafts acrylic works in which women stare through the confines of their hair. In each of the paintings in her “Storytellers” body of work, feminine faces are imprisoned in strands of varying, entangled designs, as striking gazes peer through. While other artists, like Winnie Truong, use a fascination with hair to create different moods, Van Der Vliet explores “anonymity and alienation” with her female subjects.
The complexity of each hair configuration varies, from designs that seem tortuous and meticulous to hastily wrapped (or even dampened) takes. “We are locked up inside ourselves,” the artist says, in a statement. “And in a world this big, you can feel anonymous and small when looking at the world through nothing more than a small pair of eyes. At least, that’s how I feel. To get wonderings like this onto the canvas, I’m searching for women I can identify with, to decrease the feeling of anonymity and alienation.”
In “Storytellers XII,” locks are banded together between two subjects. Yet, in disparate gazes, the two subjects appear to be apart. “Storytellers,” the first in the series in 2015, is bound with seemingly more mystery, a distrusting, yet knowing glance.