Kirsten McCrea: May Artist


Our next print gets packed up and mailed next week. Featuring work by Papirmass founder Kirsten McCrea, Issue 77 features work from her newest series: an exploration of the depiction of women through ornamentation and patterning.

Kirsten McCrea’s most recent work mines the history of vintage women’s fashion magazines, creating mixed-media collage paintings that recontextualize their subjects by changing key details. These works of art providing a glimpse into an alternate world populated by hairy women, impossible positions, crude excretions, and overwhelming adornments.


Says McCrea:

“My work seeks to cultivate and reclaim hair as both camouflage and ornament.

Hair is a signifier of power. Think of the myth of Samson losing his locks, the civil rights movement and the rise of the afro, the punk scene, and mohawks, or the liminal werewolf, transforming with each sprouting follicle into something terrifyingly strong. Women are nearly universally taught to either cover their hair, shave it, burn it off, tear it out, or otherwise tame it. By creating a feminist response to the consistently masculine folkloric werewolf, my portraits aim to highlight how hair is used as a signifier of identity, sexual orientation, economic status and power.


I want to present a vision of a world where women have more options – where the range of what we wear and how we wear it is broader. I want to see women wearing something that is shameful with pride, and finding strength in the compulsions of their own bodies.”










Kirsten McCrea is our May 2016 artist. See more at