“Tricolor Mask,” a decorative mask made of recycled paper pulp on acrylics, symbolizes to me the art of expression. Although I tend to vary my works in terms of subjects, I have a fundamental interest in masks and their varied uses across many cultures.
Many cultures around the world celebrate carnival because of its symbol of renewal. I’m particularly interested in the carnival masks of Greece and New Orleans. In the olden times, the renewal of agriculture and fertility were two of many reasons to celebrate at the carnival and the idea of renewal still appeals to me today.
The “Tricolor Mask” is my interpretation of renewal through language. For example, it symbolizes a new way of expression and thought: a mental renewal. As we know, renewing the mind renews us. It does for me.
“Tricolor mask” is a two level mask. The first level is a white mask with a pair of pronounced lips, nose and eyes, open to interpretation since they are just outlined in paper machee pulp. The second level is a series of three colors, red, black and silver, repeated symbols that are hand drawn and carry pop art qualities.
As a child, I remember seeing masks that were used in Greek carnivals as well as Venetian masks, both leaving a lasting impression on me.
Inspired by traditional masks from various nations, I honed in on the influence of my Greek heritage. This particular mask has an expressionless face, much like the ancient Greek sculptures did. While the mask doesn’t depict the same expression of these sculptures, they are similar. This mask is gender neutral as well. The facial features are open to interpretation, whether the mask represents a man or woman. It is also a mask that has symbols of language and thought.
“Tricolor Mask,” recycled newspaper, paper pulp, acrylics paint. 30 cm x 40cm x20