As a 232-page hardcover book published by Standard Press (the publishing imprint of The Standard Hotels), Nailed: The History of Nail Culture and Dzine is a photo-heavy look at nails through the ages with a focus on nail art styles and nail salon environments all over the globe.
The book is seen through the lens of Dzine, who’s a Chicago-based artist with a special penchant for fantastical nail art (like that showcased on the book’s cover). In the book’s intro, Dzine (full name Carlos Dzine Rolon), the son of Puerto Rican immigrants, says, “In order to supplement extra income, my mother created a bootleg salon in our home....I loved having people over to the house and the sense of community it created. As with my investigation and studio practice of Kustom Kulture, I found the same passion within this community of people and those creating these special objects. The more involved I became, the more I learned this really is an art form....It has reminded me why I’m an artist and why I choose to create....Most importantly and historically, the development of Nail Art Culture is about the community that has been built within the confines of a salon, the friendships that develop and the stories that are shared.”
The book opens with photos of cosmetic tools from times and places like ancient Greece, then quickly segues into modern-day nail art around the globe. I even noticed some photos contributed by nail artists who’ve been featured in the pages of our own industry magazine, NAILS. The book concludes with full-page photographs of Dzine’s own sculptured nail art creations.
This would be a great asset to the bookshelf or coffee table of any nail art-focused nail tech or salon owner. Fair warning: the book contains several provocative images, so I wouldn’t recommend placing it on the coffee table of your actual salon waiting room, but I think it would be ideal inside your salon break room to spark conversation or as a gift from one nail tech to another (or to yourself).
You may also have heard of Dzine recently because he’s been in the news for several museum installations. His exhibit at Salon 94 Freemans, titled Imperial Nail Salon, featured a salon chair with a part‐time manicurist in the gallery and at the New Museum. To coincide with the release of this book and with Art Basel Miami Beach, The Standard, Miami, hosted Dzine’s Imperial Nails, a nail salon and site-specific installation that included references to the artist’s childhood home and surroundings, containing personal artifacts and a specially commissioned video installation, with support from the Bass Museum. Dzine explains the installation in his book, “I wanted to re-create this feeling and tell a story that was honest while still keeping true to my language and body of work. In a sense, my exhibition and project, Imperial Nail Salon is an homage to my mother.”
Purchase Nailed for $45 from shopthestandard.com.