A Cut in Style-Barber Shop Paintings

Illustrations + Words: Wanda Lephoto @wandalephoto


I love the barbershop/salon aesthetic. Growing up, I wouldn’t necessarily say I was into art as a conscious choice, but I was aware of it…the art that was in the galleries…the magazines and billboards, but that form of art seemed very far removed from my reality. It felt like a constant representation of multiple ideas or conversations that weren’t talking to me, at the time.

I’m interested in using the barbershop/salon art aesthetic because it’s the most honest art form to me and my experiences. It lives on the walls of so many South African homes, grocery stores (Spaza Shop), and salons. It is the most recognised art form by most Africans, but yet it is the least celebrated by the Art World. 

My inspiration has always come from the things that are right in front of us, but we ignore on a daily. I believe it is my responsibility to shine a light on those things that are interesting to me to make them feel more special, a bit different, but also to possibly start an ongoing conversation with self and those interested in the progression of our world, our people, and our shared histories and future journeys.