A Series of Emotional Responsesto Exceptional Events (2017)
Masks are used in rituals and ceremonies around the world. Among African cultures in particular, masks are used to represent the spirits of ancestors, mythological heroes, animals and abstract concepts such as moral values. Using a variety of materials such as wood, ceramic, metals, textiles and paint, mask makers construct these objects of power that play an important spiritual and functional role within the life of their communities.
"That Evening" (2017)
The sculpted ceramic masks in this series draw their inspiration from a variety of African and African derivative mask-making traditions and design motifs. Specifically, there are stylistic quotes from Songye portrait shields from the Congo, Baule portrait shields from Ghana and the Cote d’Ivoire and Zulu war shields from South Africa. The masks are self-referential. Each emotion is modeled after my own reflection, taking liberties with the details to achieve similar yet different masks.
The Morning After (2017)
Each mask is then mounted in the center of a wooden frame. With their markings and rough surface treatment these frames evoke an urban architecture weathered by time and the elements. The composition makes use of upcycled urban objects gathered from the streets of Brooklyn and Baltimore including: rusted nails, wire, scrap metal, wire mesh and barbed wire. Then they are painted black…
Together, the personalities of the faces with their smooth black skin and strong bearing coupled with the African shield and textile-inspired formalistic qualities of the frames convey a unique sense of emotion. The larger than life scale of these naturalistic black faces against the abstract formal composition of the frame gives each piece its sense of power.
This series is on view at the Potters Guild of Baltimore at 3600 Clipper Mill Road #101, Baltimore, MD. The opening of the New Members Show is Friday, April 7, 2017 from 6 PM to 9PM.