Masked together explained

Masked together, when thinking of masks having been used in art, it goes far back, Roman theatre, African rituals, Asian plays. In modern western art I think of Goya and James Ensor. Lately there have been a lot of masks in the news, worn by anonymous, women’s rights demonstrators, pro-democracy demonstrators, etc. They’re used in demonstrations to voice suppression. On a personal level they are about hiding our true feelings, a pretence to the outside world or a protection from. To what point do we self-censure and/or are we censured?

Kierkegaard said “people demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought they seldom use.” In today’s world I think freedom of speaking about taboos and social inequality manages to open up our concepts of what life should be and could be. Freedom of speech changes and challenges our established thoughts, and help our freedom of it.

In the painting the main character takes off her mask, she shows herself. Her face is painted with stencils, as used in street art, overexposed, virgin like. She makes a brave statement but in doing so she allows for her vulnerability. While in the background two persons help each other putting on the mask. I came across a demonstration against violence against women in Pula Croatia one year ago. Carrying my camera I took photos of the demonstrators in masks. Some of them had drums or were holding black balloons, I think it a strong image I might use in the future.

I’m exploring to express, my different observations of people, who feel themselves standing outside of the general spectrum and sketch them on the canvas with pensil and black oil paint. Using different techniques like wet and dry paint and different brushes, long haired and short haired.

masked together 80×100 oil on canvas 2020