“I’m fascinated by the visual cues that turn something into pop, whatever that is.” – Silvia Prada 

Silvia Prada // The New Modern Hair
Interview by: Elizabeth Baudouin

A wise friend twice told me that one knows everything about a person by their shoes and their hair.  As this continues to prove true, we turn to Silvia Prada’s latest work, The New Modern Hair: A Style Chart as the contemporary field guide for curating (and perfecting) one’s identity.  From The Sportsman to The Hollywood, to The Teddy Boy, Silvia brilliantly illustrates a series of pop personas inspired by classic barbershop imagery juxtaposed with geometric drawings that stay true to her aesthetic shown worldwide. In collaboration with the minds at cultureEDIT and a number of visionary contributors, the artist, exhibits large-scale murals and montages celebrating The New Modern Hair at The Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles through February 26th.  We caught up with Silvia as she prepped for tonight’s opening.


What was the main motivation behind, The New Modern Hair: A Styling Chart?
My motivation was to revisit pop of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s in combination with my experience growing up with a father who is a hair stylist. I thought it was a perfect subject matter to explore and define within my artistic practice.

Talk to us about the research process that went into building the characters and manifestos showcased in The New Modern Hair?
Over the course of one year, I collected visual material and references from those decades. I also purchased a lot of vintage barber material from eBay, and I have to confess that a lot of the portraits are inspired from gay porn movies.

Which illustrated style best represents you?
I’m ALEXANDER because I love to be on the cover.


The exhibition opens today at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles alongside many contributors. How were they selected to be part of the exhibition?

Most of the contributors are friends or come from the same generation as myself and therefore felt very natural to include.  It was a very organic process with any other criteria. It was more like organizing a wish list for a dinner party.



Your show is being billed as “a continuation of your fascination with the production of identity and human aesthetics. “ Can you give our readers deeper insight to this allure?
I’m just really drawn to authentic and truly defining moments of pop, which to me is an accurate depiction of culture and society.

Are there specific pop culture icons that inspire you most?
Tony Curtis, Rock Hudson, Robert Redford, Richard Gere, Madonna, Paul Newman, Sal Mineo, Corey Haim, Rob Lowe, Jason Patrick, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Matt Dillon, Chloe Sevigny, Jon Kortajarena, Marky Mark, Kate Moss, Christopher Reeve, Macaulay Culkin and Leonardo di Caprio, among others.

What is it about pop culture?
I’m fascinated by the visual cues that turn something into pop, whatever that is.


Triangles, circles and squares also shape your illustrations. What is your relationship with geometry and how it plays into your work?
All of the references are subjective takes on the most prominent visual movements of the 20th century. My background is very academic, so it comes very naturally for me to include these in my art.

The New Modern Hair stays true to the spirit of your earlier work featured in Fanzine137 and Dazed & Confused.  What role did your past work play in conceiving your current exhibition?
My fascination with all thing pop started early on, but was really only manifested in my art when I started to do illustrations for The Face magazine in 2000. My magazine commissions allowed me to contextualize pop within specific contexts. This continuous exercise helped me define the framework of The New Modern Hair.


In three words, why should our readers visit The New Modern Hair exhibition?
Grooming is sexy.


Silvia Prada

The New Modern Hair
The Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles, CA
Blue Building | 2nd Floor | B255 |
8687 Melrose Ave. | West Hollywood CA | 90069

1/18/13 – 2/26/13

Opening Reception TONIGHT 5-8:30pm
Sponsors: cultureEDIT, The Work Magazine, and Otherwild

For more information about the exhibit, the artist, and all contributors, please visit:

Leave A Comment