Take one look at Madame Peripetie’s exhilarating photography portfolio and you’d think the artist behind them came out the womb in Gaga heels and a bright pink afro. You’d be wrong. Strangely, Sylwana Zyburu, the German lady who bears the Madame Peripetie name, grew up in Poland and Iceland and experienced a somewhat monochrome childhood. With the discovery of all things sci-fi, comic conventions, David Lynch’s paintings, and Robert Wilson’s avant-garde plays, Madame Peripetie has rebelled against her pallid youth with a photographic explosion of PVC, outrageous fashions, absurd hair pieces, and lots and lots of beautiful color.
Her work has been displayed all over Germany making her nothing short of a national sensation. But to say that her photos are understood by all her fans would be mildly misleading, and that’s the way she likes it.
“A tiny bit of mysteriousness and abstruseness is very important,” she said. “If I understand something completely, I’m not interested in it anymore.”
And then there’s the hair. When Madame Peripetie refers to her own portraiture as “a surreal disturbance” it’s easy to see why. Her fetish for hair is most openly expressed in her series Mr. and Mrs. Tremblehead, where models faces are hidden by lavish gravity-defying wigs. Stemming from her love of Star Wars – it’s not hard to picture Chewbacca posing playfully in place of one of her subjects – and sourced from her own exotic dress-up box, the unearthly creatures that emerge from the grandiose styling and polished coiffures are surprisingly delightful.
Madame Peripetie’s work moves from tense and moody to stark and shocking and as far as playfully obscene, and we’re delighted to reveal just a fraction of it here. It’s time to play dress-up…