In places like the Dominican Republic and New York City’s Washington Heights (a.k.a. Dominican Central), getting styled in hair rollers is a traditional beauty regimen and standard routine on Saturday afternoons.
One artist, Tony Peralta, is building on this concept with his original “Rolo Series.” In it, the Uptown native reimagines iconic Latinas, such as Frida Kahlo, Lynda Carter (Yes! Wonder Woman is Latina), Celia Cruz, Selena and even childhood favorite, Dora the Explorer, all with their hair perfectly coiled and ready for the dryer.
“I hope to make these figures more relatable and provide young women of color the opportunity to see themselves in these characters,” Peralta told VIBE Viva.
The growing collection (above) is inspired by an earlier piece Peralta created circa 2010 titled “Doña Con Rolos.” It displayed an older Dominican woman in hair rollers, half-smiling into the camera. This modern-day Mona Lisa was featured in Peralta’s solo exhibit at NoMa “Complejo” and resonated with many because of its cultural significance.