May 26, 2022

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A hairy cheese is now on view at Houston’s Menil Collection

2 min read

Houstonians may have hoped for a peaceful Friday morning, but the Menil Collection had other plans.

A story posted to the Montrose museum’s Instagram on May 13 showed close-ups of what looks like a block of Gruyère cheese with a full head of hair.

“It’s baaaaaaccckkkkk. [eyes emoji]” read the caption.

Where exactly a cheese would have to come back from to become that hairy, we don’t know. But as it turns out, it’s a work of art, not real cheese.

American sculptor Robert Gober is behind the piece, “Untitled” (2005). It’s made with beeswax and, unfortunately for those of us who now can’t unsee it, real human hair.

The Instagram video shows the Menil’s conservation team gently combing the strands of hair with a Q-tip. On top of the wedge, it’s thinning and looks somewhat like baby hair, but it grows long at the back. Kind of like a mullet, if you will.


“Minimal forms with maximum content are what Robert Gober’s sculptures are all about,” wrote the New York Times in 1985 about the artist’s work, early in his career.

Gober is from Connecticut and is based in New York. Other sculptures of his include “Untitled Leg” (1989-90), a leg and foot sticking out of a wall, and “Untitled” (1991), which is also a leg and foot sticking out of a wall, but different.

The hairy cheese known as “Untitled” (2005) is now on view at the Menil Collection.

On Instagram, while one user called it a “cursed object,” the reaction to the cheese mullet is overall pretty positive. “I missed her!!!!” said @christuna.

“CHEESE WITH HAIR LETS GOOOOO,” commented @evanrohne.



 

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