Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Masks

When I first begun creating self-portraits for public consumption, I wanted my photographs to show as many sides of myself as possible.I wanted to experience a full release of my being into my photographs. Ironically, the first items I purchased to ensure that this occur -even before I bought a tripod- were several masks. They were carnival masks reminiscent of those worn at the masquerade balls of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries: a gold one with red feathers, a black velvety mask with beads dangling from it, and a little pierrot mask with a tear painted on it’s cheek. They were to serve me in achieving a certain liberating, playful anonymity of sorts.

Within this unidentifiable state, I wished to reveal more of my identity than I ever had before in public. With my face always hidden, I was certain I would be able to give myself fully to my self-portraits. I wanted to enter a world in which I would feel completely uninhibited, like the guests at Venetian balls, who danced as they never had before, in their elaborate disguises. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, I thought, if I could capture my spirit dancing freely in my photographs?

Too many people already knew my face, in my life, and because of that, they mistakenly thought they knew me. My photographs, I hoped, would function as windows into vistas of myself that no one ever saw painted on my countenance. They would be glimpses into sides of me that lived beyond the superficiality of common sights, like my face. Or even common knowledge, like my name. So, along with the masks I chose a pseudonym of sorts for myself to complete the disguise, and twirled into the ballroom with wild abandon!

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