Masked Identity — Nowhere to Hide

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“I don’t think that I’ll close my eyes
‘Cause lately I’m not dreaming
So what’s the point in sleeping?
It’s just that at night,
I’ve got nowhere to hide”

– Andrew McMahon

Artist Statement

The objective was to create a mask in how we interpret what a mask is. For me, a mask is trying to keep everything contained, but I can’t and so it all comes pouring out in one dark mess. This mask is about how I deal with my emotions, and how I fail to deal with them. In fact, I barely deal with them at all, and on a daily basis, it is just relentless crying and frustration over everything in life. I’ve tried to contain my emotions before. I try to appear stable, and I try to appear strong because that’s what most people do. Most people put on a brave face for the outside world and deal with their negative emotions privately. As for me? I have tried to hold back my emotions, but I find myself struggling and I can feel my exterior cracking open. It starts with a single tear running down the side of my cheek, and then it becomes a massive flood of dark emotions as I unravel from the inside out.

I used yarn, fabric, and party streamers to create a variety of texture that is symbolic of the variety of negative emotions that come pouring out. I chose to use specifically black because black is not only powerful, but it is representative of all the dark, negative emotions that coming pouring forth out of the face of the mask.

The red pillow is a symbol of self-gratification or the desire to seek pleasure. When people are sad, they naturally seek out something that is pleasurable that will make them feel better. The pillow brings a sense of pleasure in the form of comfort. It is something soft that one can hold close and tightly against their body, and they don’t feel like they’re alone anymore. This is a narrative of one of those nights where the world feels gray and it’s been a bad day, and I begin to feel myself unravel again, but I find a sense of warm comfort in the pillow.

Materials Used

  • Wire
  • Tracing Paper
  • Matte Gel Medium
  • Black Spray Paint
  • Black Yarn
  • Black Lightweight Fabric
  • Black Party Streamers

Approximate Dimensions

5 in x 9 in x 34 in

Inspiration

Yoko-Ono — Cut Piece (1965)

Craig Green — Designer

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Nicholas Alan Cope and Dustin Edward Arnold — Artists

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In-Process Photos

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