Anarchists of Style: Niagra


At night I lull myself to sleep under the watchful aim of Niagra’s “Night Night Cheri.”
This take-no-prisoners vixen hanging above my bed is a relative likeness of the artist that created her.

Icon of detroit Niagra is a strong candidate for our Anarchist of Style series due to her distinct identity that challenges and entices the viewer. A mix of self expression, character tribute, feminist construction, humor, and ageless rocker style. above image from

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From 1974-1985 Niagara was a founding member of the band formed Destroy All Monsters, which was part of the circle with The Stooges and the MC5. She then fronted the group Dark Carnival also part of the same scene. Her production of promotional materials for the groups developed a signature style of merging illustration, collage, and pop art, and her career would blossom by the mid-90s intro an being international sensation. The “low brow” art scene was booming and magazines such as Juxtapoz and galleries from LA to Sydney to Tokyo were focusing on such work, with Niagra at the forefront of the movement having shaped this style for decades prior. You can check out her career retrospective in the coffee table book “Beyond The Pale.”

You’d recognize her a mile away as she looks like she could be in one of her paintings, and even in a rock mecca like Detroit, where a bar night presents a room full of fantastic creations, she still stands out.

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Comic strip danger girls, femme fatales, and hallucinogenic beauties frequent her bold colored works and her own style is a rock-lead-singer version of this aesthetic. Logically, in recent years she also added clothing designer to her mix working with avant garde coutiriers and even Vans shoes.

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The key to the look of Niagra and those cut from her cloth is consistency and authenticity. Which can go hand in hand. This Anarchist of Style exudes an air of aggressive confidence in smudged black shadow and perhaps a bit of distance from the rest of the room. Which is true of many of the Anarchists we’ve profiled.

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