Bob Recine: Alchemy of Beauty

The Celebrated Hairstylist Reflects on the Aspirations Guiding His Artistry

Visionary hairstylist and artist Bob Recine sits down with filmmaker Alison Chernick in his New York studio to reflect on his friendship with Andy Warhol, the eternal quest for beauty, and collaborating with Lady Gaga on a room made entirely out of hair for one of Barneys window displays last Christmas. Growing up as part of New York’s rebellious 1970s punk scene, Recine took an early interest in urban art and music, building a vast portfolio and playing in multiple bands before translating his creative pursuits into hairdressing. Known today for his exquisite styling and sculptural coiffures, Recine has made bold statements on runways and in campaigns for the likes of Chloé, Kenzo and Jil Sander. “He is on a quest to find that transient moment of beauty,” says Chernick, likening Recine to the groundbreaking El Bulli chef Ferran Adrià. “His work transforms the medium from which it was born.” From Annie Leibovitz and Mario Testino to Irving Penn and Helmut Newton, Recine has collaborated with every major photographer, and his 'dos have graced covers of most leading fashion publications, including Wi-DVHarper’s Bazaar, and every global edition of Vogue. This month, the highlights of the industry legend’s lengthy career in hairstyling, art and sculpture—including a human figure made from 60lbs of hairpins—are gathered in Freedman/Damiani's new book, Bob Recine: Alchemy of Beauty.

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