Ready for a makeover? Then visit the Mustache Gallery, Brian Hutcheson‘s whimsical installation that allows Tacomans to “test-drive their future facial hair” by trying on mustaches through the device of strategically placed mirrors and a variety of ‘staches painted on windows.
Now, we know that extravagantly bristly and bewhiskered men saw favor in Brooklyn a few seasons ago – and in our own fashion-driven region long before that (say, back in the 1850’s). What man hasn’t toyed with the idea of having mutton chops, a thick walrus brush, or a pencil mustache to twirl? “There are few things in life that can cause admiration, envy, laughter and disgust as [readily] as facial hair can,” says Hutcheson. Visitors to the gallery in the Woolworth Building (11th and Broadway) can contemplate a new, more masculine appearance by aligning their face with the little swishes of hair painted on the glass, and peering into one of the multitude of mirrors hung at different heights so the clean-shaven of all ages may participate in trying on hirsute accessories. In addition to being an artist, Hutcheson is an instructor of art and design at Charles Wright Academy, where he is also the gallery coordinator. His skill at creating and hanging shows, shows.
He asserts that as male citizens of Tacoma “wake from their winter slumber and venture outdoors, the Mustache Gallery will allow them to consider the multitude of ways they can sculpt their current full-featured beard into something more hip and weather appropriate [for spring].” The fun isn’t limited to males, either: “The Mustache Gallery [will] empower the women of our city to break down gender barriers and assimilate a symbol of power that men have dominated for centuries.”
You, too, can assume the suave styling of a Salvador Dalì, the unshorn cool of a Fleet Fox, or the mysterious allure of Edgar Allen Poe. Hutcheson himself promises daily documentation of his own experience of growing fancy facial hair to broadcast to the city via Facebook, Twitter and his personal blog. The Mustache Gallery offers the clean-cheeked all the attractiveness of perfect grooming without the daily bother. Mustache Gallery, 11th & Broadway (Woolworth Windows), through Feb. 28, 2012.