As part of my Decomotion collection of artworks, I have been sculpting and painting a series of masks. I have a fascination with masks and the idea of hiding ones true persona or creating a whole new one to entertain or terrify, is so appealing as an artist who’s looking to create something cool and visually powerful.
I looked towards Asia, Africa, and Latin cultures to create these masks that I sculpted in paper mâché and painted in acrylic. Using some of the same Decomotion paternation techniques that I have used in my recent paintings, I created these one-of-a-kind custom masks as an exercise in color and decoration.
The Painting Process
I have no distinct plan when painting my masks. Like most of the pieces I’ve created in my Decomotion collection, I tend to have an idea of a “style” and then just try to paint without thinking too much about the form. I did have the intent though, to make all these masks united in the idea of a “keyhole” in the head as a sign of a doorway into some other realm.
The final element to these sculptural art pieces was to create a mount for them (almost like an animal trophy or some other quarry!) I created these functional mounts to hang the masks on and display them as art. I added hidden quotes to the mounts with some fancy-dancy calligraphy and a cool and functional art piece was born. I used quotes from George Bernard Shaw, Cicero, and Tolstoy that I thought were particularly relevant to the theme of masks and beauty. As historical individuals, they also represent great creative thinkers and add some intellectual weight to the pieces.