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"The Mother Of All Masks"

"The Mother Of All Masks"

"The Mother Of All Masks"
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I retitled this piece when I changed Marvin's original color scheme. It was rare that Marvin had specific colors in mind, and this was one of those times... he wanted the masks to be combinations of red, dark blues, and purples -- that was it. Roger, a long time customer and friend, suggested different colorings, and that was the beginning of my realization that I could change/rework/revisit any part or area of this work, knowing that Marvin would approve of any changes I might make. I'm now using browns, grays, greens and yellows -- which give the piece a lighter, brighter look and feel.

As for the image, it's inspired by an article Marvin read about an African tribe who used ceremonial masks in their rituals. Old masks were "retired" to a cave, and new masks were first introduced to the huge pile of retired masks which was known as "the mother of masks". The article, written in the 1950's, was by the only white man to ever witness the ritual before or after. He was welcomed by the tribe, and took photos of the dancers wearing these beautiful masks. The publicity caused too much outside attention, so they have not allowed that sort of interference ever since.

Marvin was becoming fascinated by the mandala shape around this time, and designed several pieces with this idea... a central figure or idea, with the other elements circling. I have forgotten how many different masks are involved, but it's something like 20 distinct images. They are mounted on concentric circles of foam core; each completed piece is unique.

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Image size: 18" in diameter
Matted/Framed size: 25" x 25"
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