Masks have always fascinated me. They let us become someone else - something else. Whether they are used in religious ceremonies, theatre or masquerade balls they let us channel the other. We can be both hidden and exposed by a mask - letting emotions, actions and behaviors in and projecting them out in a way we cannot or will not without them.
In terms of creating them, I have always been drawn to making masks that reflect or take on the natural world in some way. The personification of plants, animals and places. Pieces that speak of both birth and decay. The hidden spaces. The magical places that call us to them and repel us at the same time. How do we identify with the natural world when so much of modern life disconnects us from it? As we seek to tame all the wild places? When so many people have never been outside of a city? We are destroying the natural world, our world - our only home, at an alarming rate. Now more than ever we need to find what connects us - to each other, to the earth - and see through the eyes of the other so we can more clearly see ourselves.
What do you become when you put on a mask? What do you reveal even as you hide? Can you see yourself as someone else? Something else? How does it feel? Try one on and see.
I'd like to take a moment to thank AL FOOTE III THEATRICAL PHOTOGRAPHY who took most of these fabulous photos. A big thank you as well to Virginia Logan and Beth Ann Hopkins who braved the cold and snow in Central Park to model them.