MASK MARKS, SUMMER / FALL 2020- 2021

The absence of a thing—not only denotes that thing but the concrete and abstract meanings that is manifest in it.

At the height of the Pandemic, the term “mask marks” started to appear on Google Trending Images and images from around the globe started to appear chronicling the scars left on the face by surgical masks worn sometimes for more than 16 hours by medical workers. It was at a time wear wearing a mask was seen by many as an imposition and that rules for public behaviour were an infringement on freedom. The absurd argument which equated a public health emergency method meant to protect the populace as a affront to freedom was akin to the religious right argument that giving LBGYQ? people rights were somehow and imposition on their constitutional rights. While medical workers were taking heroic action and paying the price for the health of their patients the battle over masks raged in the streets and in the media, I began to question if it was possible to “flatten the curve” when a medical device, P.P. E,used in Asian Countries for years was considered controversial.

It confirmed my belief that “objects” can take on Powerful meaning in chaotic times.

As I began to collect images, I chose “portraiture” has I had in the past to best represent the narrative.

Covid 19 Series: Mask Marks No1., Acrylic On Canvas, 30×40″,2020.
Mask Marks no. 2., Acrylic On Canvas, 30×40″, 2020.

She stared back at me from the screen, Se seemed familiar, like a cousin not seen for many years. Mediterranean, dark features, brown eyes and arched eyebrows. Pensive? Exaperated, perhaps just Tired.

Mask Marks no.3, Acrylic On Canvas, 30×40″. 2020.

Her smile, perhaps forced by the camera reminded of another quite like it. No not Mona Lisa but Warhols “Mao. I began to think of this painting as “My Mao”.

Mask Marks No.4, Acrylic On Canvas, 30×40″, 2020
Mask Marks No.5, Acrylic On Canvas, 30×48″, 2020
Mask Marks No.6, Acrylic On Canvas, 24×36″, 2021

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