Friday, December 21, 2012

Challenge 5: Behind the Mask

“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth.” ~Oscar Wilde

Last night was Halloween in America.  A night when kids of all ages put on costumes and walk around the neighborhood after dark.  You may open your door to find a 3 foot tall Barack Obama standing next to a fairy princess and a giant fried egg with legs, without the least bit of surprise.  On Halloween, you can be anyone or anything you want.  Ghosts and vampires don’t scare you; just give them some candy and then they’ll move onto the next house.

As long as human beings have lived together, we have worn masks.  They allow us to step outside our ordinary life, tell a story, be the person we wish we could be.  They can also be used to deceive, manipulate or frighten our fellow man.  Ceremonial masks and theater make up are put on over the face, and are usually easy to recognize.  Others are more subtle; we might mask our true feelings when a friend asks for an opinion, or put on “a brave face” when we’re scared.  We may write provocative comments on line using a false name.  But like a plastic Batman face with eye holes cut out, wearing a mask can also obscure or limit our own vision of the world. 

This month’s Challenge: What kind of masks do you wear in your life?  Do they hide you or allow you to be your true self?
Challenge 5:
Orientation: Portrait (18"w x 24"h)
Gallery opens December 26, 2012

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