Van Gogh's Back

Sr. Editor

They say a great artist can make something out of nothing, and Mona Hatoum really took that to heart...or back, rather.

In this photograph, Mona Hatoum decided to unleash her creativity on a friend’s back hair, which you think would be difficult (not to mention gross), but Mona clearly had a lot of material to work with and bravely carried on in the tub. She created the furry tableau by swirling the tufts of dark hair around into a spiral pattern with soap.

The shapes are supposed to be reminiscent of Van Gogh’s famous brushstrokes, as per the title. See, art history can be fun! Especially when you have a sense of humor about it. Though this photo is definitely cheeky, it also seems very intimate. You can imagine the tactility of the man’s skin and the gentle massaging motions by the artist to get the effect.

So if you’re self-conscious about body hair, fuggedaboutit! Your unruly tendrils could be in the Tate someday.