The window into the Art+Science Barbershop of Logan Square frames a view of leather barber chairs set before a large mirror, flanked by shelves of styling concoctions and a newspaper-topped waiting table. Along the back wall, there is a spread of black and white photographs: profiles of neatly combed hairlines, buzz-trimmed sides, and sharp-shaven beards. These photographs, which pep the signature look of Art+Science, were taken by none other than the salon’s co-owner and founder, David Raccuglia.
Born and raised in Lasalle, IL, Raccuglia has always had a passion for hair. He started out working for his local barber in Lasalle, eventually going on to study and work at establishments in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and London. His photo portraits, such as those seen on the walls at Art+Science, are characterized by sleek Americana styles, both rugged and refined. Capturing these styles inspired Raccuglia’s vision of a barbershop dedicated to the classic charm of mens grooming. To see his dream come true, Raccuglia returned to Chicago where he opened Art+Science, later joined by stylist/co-wner, Paul Wilson, paying homage to classic barber shop etiquette, timeless style, and the artful render-ship of hair.
“Art+Science has done that since it started back in ’89,” explains the salon’s general manager, Andrew Mooney. “It saught to create a classic apprentice-based barbershop—as opposed to through a regular beauty school program.”
An apprenticeship at Art+Science involves one year of rigorous hands-on training, focusing on technical craft and the development of artistry through work with live models. Art+Science stylists approach hair not as a separate entity, but as a part of the person it belongs to. “Styling hair is an extension of fashion,” says Mooney. “It’s an art.”
Among the photographs on the wall at the Logan Square barbershop is a large sepia portrait of a poised bustly man with an oblong beard, the words “Art+Science Barbershop” printed beside him. The essence of Raccuglia’s photographs is at the heart of what Art+Science represents: fresh looks with vintage aesthetic; modern flare with a classic approach to style; timeless characterization with a personal touch. “I wish you could hear [Raccuglia] talk about it,” Mooney says. “He pops in sometimes. He’s a really interesting guy.”
Shortly after starting Art+Science, Raccuglia also created the mens luxury hair product line, American Crew, along with Wilson who serves as its Artistic Director. The brand subsequently hosts all those gleaming bottles of products on the shelves at Art+Science. During American Crew’s formative years, Raccuglia acted as its primary photographer, capturing portraits and advertisements for the line, all in his signature style. Raccuglia has also worked with other salon and fashion brands such as Revlon and Reuzel Pomade, and has photographed the styles of celebrities including Ray Charles, Zoey Deschanel, and Yoko Ono.
Art+Science expands form its barbershop front to include full-service salons as well, providing styling services for all patrons who relish an artful do. There are four Chicago storefronts, each awaiting those in search of a signature sleek cut like the ones they see in David Raccuglia’s photographs.
Speaking true to the Art+Science M.O., Mooney describes working on hair as not only a “science that everyone needs,” but an “immediate act of art” that becomes part of their personal expression. Looking at the stylings and photographs of David Raccuglia and all those artful cuts by Art+Science stylists, that goes for artist and subject alike.
Art+Science has four Chicago locations: the barbershop in Logan Square (2569 N Milwaukee Ave), full service salons in Wicker Park (1554 N Milwaukee Ave) and West Loop (1144 W Randolph St), and its original salon in Evanston (1629 Orrington Ave). Contact your preferred shop to schedule an appointment or peek in any one of them to see some of David Raccuglia’s stylish photographs—who knows, you may even catch a glimpse of the artist himself.
Logan Square Barbershop: (773) 747-4844
Wicker Park Salon: (773) 227-4247
West Loop Salon: (312) 787-4247
Evanston Salon: (847)864-4247
All photos by David Raccuglia