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Xenobia Bailey: The Aesthetic of Funk

Fiber artist Xenobia Bailey makes crocheted hats that are anything but typical. Her hats are objects with odd shapes and forms, embellished with feathers and beads and luscious color combinations intricately woven into patterns that are outrageously beautiful one-of-kind hats. Her hats are eye grabbing. Each hat is a showstopper, and each wearer a performer turning passerbyers heads. On the streets people stop in awe of Xenobia’s hats curiously questioning. Where did you get that cool hat?

She’s embodies a modernist flair decked in stylish Mies Van der Rohe black round eyeglasses, her clothes crocheted in brilliant colors and patterns, and textures emotes what this prolific fiber artists calls, “funk.” As a fiber artist her hats are a blending of tactile textures, rich patterns and anthropomorphic shapes, seeing her hats I can’t help but think of the ebullient spices in New Orleans flavorful gumbo stew. She likens her aesthetic to the syncopated beats of funk music informed by African patterns found in textiles and architecture, and the rhythms of global music practices of call and response. She has BA in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute. Xenobia’s work links the symbiotic relationship between her design background and being a fiber-artist.

If you missed her exquisitely crocheted hats at the Global Africa Project held at Museum of Art and Design in 2010, then visit MAD.org for more information on her work. She’s represented by STUX gallery in NYC and listing on upcoming shows and more of her work can be found on Xenba.blogspot.com. Thinking of wearing an original Neo-Funky crocheted hat make sure to visit Xenobia Bailey’s Etsy shop. 

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About The Author

Michele Washington

Michele Y. Washington is interested in researching the impact of cross-cultural design and to effectively address the impact of global communities and the role of architecture, urbanism, design, products, language, visual cultures, and fashion plays in every day life.

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