One physical hallmark of being a mammal is possessing hair—something we humans routinely try to shape, improve, deny, remove, and contain that persists nonetheless. In this work the hair intrudes on, reshapes, and emphasises clothing items that operate on multiple levels: as symbols of class, transition, religion, and budding sexuality. The re-purposing of clothing is crucial to the work because clothes carry their own layers of meaning and baggage which can be held in common and yet be different and highly personal to individual viewers. The ‘Pelt’ pieces connect loaded icons of civilisation with references to hair or animal fur as a reassertion of the closeted mammal inside each of us.
Stephanie Metz lives and works in San Jose, California and was a featured artist in Bay Area Currents 2009 at ProArts Gallery, Oakland, CA. She has exhibited at Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco and New York, and the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art. Her numerous group exhibitions include Black Sheep: The Darker Side of Felt at the National Centre for Craft and Design in the U.K., Creatures: From Bigfoot to the Yeti Crab at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts in Idaho, Formex Stockholm 2008 in Stockholm, Sweden, and Transmission: Experience at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Gallery, Singapore. Metz was honored with two Center for Cultural Innovation Grants in 2011 and 2009.