READING IN BED 2010 oil on canvas 122 X 122 cm Image links to my website.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The point of departure for the 'head' or 'face' motif came from a facial gel mask I found at a yard sale sometime in the late 1990s or early 2000s.  It was meant to be heated or chilled and placed over the face for pleasure or treatment.  When I got it the gel had crystallized inside the blue plastic casing so it was good for nothing, but I thought it might have sculptural possibilities.  It did, however, come with a dozen sheets of high quality tissue die-cut into the shape of the gel mask, to place on your face as a buffer to avoid getting chilled or burned by the gel. 

The tissue sheets could be inked with oil paint made long with linseed oil, and yielded extremely fine-grained impressions.  Eventually I developed the head into other outlines with diverse materials.

The original figuration had a strong, stylized graphic identity with an indefinite ancestry.  It could have come from nearly any culture throughout history.  It could as well have been modelled on a Noh mask as one from Oceania, or Bauhaus sculpture, pre-Colombian ceramic, Slavic design, Inuit or Kwakiutl carving, Byzantine or folk art, the Archaic smile of Ancient Greece.

As it is, it was a pragmatic manufacture design that has now been superseded by different, and more functional designs, making this one a relic.  Albeit a relic of a timeless face. 

In these pictures the face is not a mask or persona, but the matrix which sustains consciousness.

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