"This series takes the Victorian women's practice of sentimental hairwork as its jumping-off point. For the Victorians, mourning was a very public act. Rather than a private emotion or an embarrassment, grief was a popular motif for the arts and fashion. What strikes modern sensibilities as mawkish and overly sentimental behavior was, at the time, considered proof of a person's sincerity and morality. Ornamental hairwork, painstakingly crafted from the hair of loved ones, was a fashion that insisted the wearer embodied these virtues.
That the hair must be severed from the body to be worked in this fashion is a compelling aspect of the practice for me. It loses its essential quality of referring to a specific person, while still being a distinctively “personal” object. In a sense, the story of hairwork is a testament not of our capacity to remember our lost loved ones, but of our ultimate inability to hold onto them." - Spencer Merolla
Ian’s visual art has been displayed in the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Recession Art, the Wassaic Project, Bertrand Delacroix Gallery, Bushwick Open Studios and DUMBO Arts Festival to name a few. In 2007 he took a temporary job as a hospital groundskeeper; a job which helped define his approach to artwork and the creative process. He sees the artistic potential of waste, making us consider the mark that we inevitably leave behind. He currently works at the Invisible Dog Studios in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.