Charlie Le Mindu

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Charlie le Mindu is a Los Angeles-based visual artist who has pioneered the use of human hair, among other nontraditional materials, to amalgamate the worlds of fashion, performance art, and installation. Honing his skills from a young age in salons and nightclubs, le Mindu learned to fashion wigs into works of art, developing the unique brand of “haute coiffure” that has since made him famous.

Charlie le Mindu’s artistic practice is influenced by the subcultures of European nightlife and drag performance, vaudeville and performance art. He uses the iconography and spirit of these expressive spheres to create installations and innovative artistic experiences that are in dialogue with the contemporary social and cultural milieu, and also the larger historical continuum of fashion and art. Le Mindu is known for his wearable works sculpted with real and synthetic hair as seen on pop icon Lady Gaga, electro-punk musician Peaches, and actress Rossy de Palma, among others. However, by metamorphosing the wearer, le Mindu establishes his own aesthetic that references ancient mythology, fantastical bestiaries and most importantly, his very own transgressive imagination.

Le Mindu’s sculptures and performance compositions have been exhibited in numerous institutions including the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Palais de Tokyo and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Additional projects, including art direction of the storefront windows at Galeries Lafayette Paris and Bordeaux, reflect the regard of the fashion and art world for his dramatic, offbeat design aesthetic.

Le Mindu’s current movement towards performance transforms the contemporary art institution, presenting performances that exist in a space between the worlds of fashion and art. The artist, a polymath in the truest sense, combines his talents in music, video, dance and design to compose a beautiful, visceral otherworld that draws upon the clever reverie and penetrating psychology of Surrealism. References to primitive art, anatomical metonymy and ethereal physical expressions in his performance work recall the art of seminal Surrealists including Salvador Dali and René Magritte, while the throbbing dance music, strobe lights and glitter thrust the viewer into the fresh-faced, campy European club scene.

  • Barrett Barrera | Charlie Le Mindu

    Charlie le Mindu, Mohawk, 2014

    Inès Dieleman

  • Barret Barrera | Charlie Le Mindu

    Charlie le Mindu, Gold Sabah, 2013

    Valerio Mezzanotti

  • Barret Barrera | Charlie Le Mindu

    Charlie le Mindu, Paris Hait Gris (performance still), 2012

    Olivier Ouadah

  • Barret Barrera | Charlie Le Mindu

    Charlie le Mindu, Gold Sabah, 2013

    Valerio Mezzanotti

  • Barret Barrera | Charlie Le Mindu

    Charlie le Mindu, Paris Hait Gris (performance still), 2012

    Olivier Ouadah

  • Barret Barrera | Charlie Le Mindu

    Charlie le Mindu, Charliewood (performance still), 2016

    Olivier Ouadah

  • Barret Barrera | Charlie Le Mindu

    Charlie le Mindu, Octopus Mask, 2010

    Base Sous Marine, Bordeaux

  • Barret Barrera | Charlie Le Mindu

    Charlie le Mindu, Installation view, SURFACE, 2016

    Raphael Fanelli

  • Charlie le Mindu, Installation view, Charlie Would…, 2016

    Sarah Carmody

  • Charlie le Mindu, Installation view, Charlie Would…, 2016

    Sarah Carmody

  • Charlie le Mindu, Choubaka (video installation), 2015

    Sarah Carmody

  • Barret Barrera | Charlie Le Mindu

    Charlie le Mindu, A Male Gaze, 2015

    Olivier Ouadah

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Curriculum Vitae

Born in Bergerac, France and raised in the French wine country of Castelnau-de-Médoc, Charlie Le Mindu has lived and worked throughout Europe and is currently based in Paris.

Solo Exhibitions

2016Haar! Centraal Museum, Utrecht, Netherlands

Charliewood, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France

2015Charlie Le Mindu, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France

Hair Now, Erarta Contemporary Art Museum St. Petersburg, Russia

Carnaval des Deux Rives: Carnaval Monstre, Bordeaux, France

Fall/Winter Collection 2015-2016, Paris Fashion Week, Paris, France

Utopian Bodies: Fashion Looks Forward, Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden

Winterthur Nirvana: Strange Forms of Pleasure, Gewerbemuseum, Winterthur, Switzerland

Solo Exhibitions(cont)

2014“STRONGER” Collection, Spring/Summer 2014-2015 Collection, DS World, Paris, France

2013Africa Remix, Galeries Lafayette, Paris, France

2012“Charl’ de Jouy” and Autumn/Winter 2012 Collection Presentation, Le Trianon, Paris, France

Charl’ de Jouy (film), London Fashion Week, London, UK

2011Croquis de Mode, French Institute of Athens, Athens, Greece

“Berlin Syndrome” Collection, London Fashion Week

2010Spring/Summer 2010 Collection, London Fashion Week, London, UK

GROUP Exhibitions

2015Le Bord des Mondes, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France

2013A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes, Fashion, and Chess, World Chess Hall of Fame, St. Louis, USA

2011Power of Making!, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK

Modesty and Women’s Wrath, Villa Emapain, Brussels, Belgium

ARRRGH! Monsters In Fashion, Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece

Mœbius Transe-forme, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, France

Selected Press

2016“Charlie Le Mindu Sets ‘Charliewood’ Revue,” Women’s Wear Daily

“Haute Coiffure Designer Creates Hair Amusement Park in Paris,” Modern Salon Magazine

2015“Charlie Le Mindu Fall-Winter 2015-2016,” Crash Magazine

“Charlie Le Mindu Showcases Amazing Hair Art with Hairdreams,” Estetica Magazine

2014“Interview: Charlie Le Mindu,” Schön! Magazine

“The Seapunks of Charlie Le Mindu Shakes the Fashion Week with his Haute Coiffure Collection Stronger,” Live Coiffure Magazine

2013“Elsewhere in Paris…Lady Gaga’s Favourite Freaky Milliner Charlie Le Mindu Shows Yet Another Bizarre Catwalk Collection,” Daily Mail

2012“Valerie van der Graaf as Dolly Parton in Heart Breaker,” Lovecat Magazine

“Step by Step with Charlie Le Mindu,” Vice Magazine

2011“Charlie Le Mindu for ARRRGH! Exhibition,” Yatzer

“Celebrity Hair Stylist Interview: Charlie Le Mindu,” FSHN Magazine

“London Fashion Week: Charlie Le Mindu,” Clash Magazine

2010“Charlie Le Mindu,” British Vogue

2008“Who’s Cool Now,” The Guardian