Poetry Today, Art Tomorrow: Filipino salon owner uses his own hair to create selfies

Filipino artist and sailor Jeston Garcia works on a portrait of Rihanna made of human hair in San Juan, Philippines, March 10, 2022. Photo taken March 10, 2022. Reuters

Manila, Philippines – Every few months when Jesston Garcia takes his electric hair clipper to his head, he not only cuts his hair, but also collects art materials.

Using a thin brush and a sticky, translucent resin, the co-owner of a Manila hair salon sprayed these collected strands and clips onto a blank white canvas, and it takes two to five hours to arrange them into stunning portraits of musicians and actors.

The 32-year-old’s main job as a sailor involves spending up to eight months a year on cruise ships, and lacking adequate art supplies like paint and drawing boards at sea, in 2021 Garcia resorted to using his hair to create portraits. He started with self-portraits and eventually moved on to celebrity photography.

Away at sea most of the time, instead of his salon, he just uses his hair, sometimes shaving his sideburns when he needs extra stuff.

Garcia said that making this art helps him relieve his stress because long trips take a toll on his physical and mental health.

“We need an outlet to deal with depression. For me, my outlet has been making art,” adding that he eventually wants to sell his work.

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