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About this Artist

Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir, also known as SHOPLIFTER, is an Icelandic artist based in New York.

For the past 15 years Arnardóttir has explored extensively the use and symbolic nature of hair, and its visual and artistic potential.

In her work, she addresses the history of our obsession with hair and how it is an ongoing manifestation of creativity in contemporary culture, tackling notions that border on obsession or fetishism.

Her body of work largely consists of sculptures, site-specific installations and wall murals. Arnardóttir is equally comfortable creating small sculptures and large-scale installations which commonly address themes of vanity, self-image, fashion, beauty and popular myth. Arnardóttir is inspired by pop culture and mass production as well as folk art, naivism and handcraft which all have strongly influenced her creative process.

Humor plays a large role in Arnardóttir’s work which she explores through the juxtaposition of the beautiful and the grotesque and conflict between mass production and preciousness. Arnardóttir has worked with artists from all over the world including Icelandic musician Björk for whom she created the "hair helmet" featured on the 2004 album Medúlla. In 2008, Arnardóttir collaborated with artist collective a.v.a.f on an installation displayed at the MoMA in New York. Her most recent work includes one of her largest installations to date, Nervescape V, at The Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane, Australia in 2016.

Arnardóttir has a BA from the Icelandic College of Art and Crafts and a MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. In 2011, she was awarded the Nordic Textile Award and the Prince Eugen Medal for Artistic Achievement from the King and Royal Crown of Sweden. Arnardóttir represented Iceland, alongside Hrafnkell Sigurðsson, at the Liverpool Biennial in England in September, 2010 and created a large-scale site specific installation for the Nordic Biennial, Momentum 8, in Moss, Norway in 2015. Arnardóttir´s solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Iceland opens in May 2017.

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