About Shoplifter

Shoplifter is an artist from Iceland whose work has been shown and published all over the world, especially in New York City where she lives with her family. Her body of work as a whole exists in the gray area between visual art, performance, and design.

Shoplifter has worked for several years exploring the use and symbolic nature of hair, and its visual and artistic potential. For Shoplifter hair is the ultimate thread that grows from our body. Hair is an original, creative fiber, a way for people to distinguish themselves as individuals, and often an art form.

Humor plays a large roll in her life and work, sometimes subtly, but other times taking over. This humor extends to her love of playing with the juxtaposition of opposites. Like with her hair pieces- they appear beautiful evoking natural forms and plant life, but at the same time hair is considered grotesque and disturbing when it is not attached to the body, like hair in the shower drain.

While hair is her most commonly used material she has never been limited to any one material or category of art. She loves to study all possible channels and use any material that a project calls for that at first might not seem to have a connection to visual art, but leads there in the end. She uses traditional handcraft techniques like knitting, weaving, and braiding to create new forms of textiles, while referring to established methods in art. She is attracted to the playfulness found in folk art, naïvism, and handicraft which all have a strong influence on her organic process of creating work.

Her work is simultaneously comical, romantic, silly and beautiful with the theme of vanity as a connecting thread. Through the ages people have been so imaginative in the way they make beautiful things for themselves and others by using materials from their nearby environment. This aspect present in every culture, whether driven by vanity and narcissism or a simple desire for beauty, is vanity in its best form.

“I think the most beautiful element in the world is the pure desire to decorate and beautify your self.” -Shoplifter


Family Portrait 2007 by Silja Magg