Series : MASKS (2018/2019)

This series features 100 masks - mostly African, but also Pre-Columbian (Latin), Indian, Asian and Oceanic - all handmade, unique paper collages. The collages are posted daily on Instagram and titles are revealed along the way, however works can be purchased in advance. Please email me if you would like an electronic listing. The framed dimensions are 32x42cm (about 12x16 inches).

A list of the full series with available works is receivable upon request. Please email audrey@audreyguttman.com.

Why “Masks”?

I’ve been obsessed with these masks since I was a teen, as I was lucky to have an adopted family which introduced me early on to African art, leading to a lifelong education. In all the ancient cultures of the world, masks have been a way of transcending our human condition and communicating with a higher dimension. This idea is no less relevant today, while we struggle to reconcile our social or virtual masks with our innermost selves - one of the most important endeavors of our existence. Through this series, I wanted to show that the separation between different timeframes - past, present and future - and ancestries - the perceived divide between « us » and « them » - is a mere illusion, a fact that collage makes clear. Through the repurposing of images found in old books, catalogues and magazines, the distinction is blurred between old and new, between art that caresses the divine and an interesting movement in a vintage photograph. Something happens to these masks when I take them out of their natural habitat, when I cut, touch and move them until I’ve found the composition that just « clicks ». Placed alongside another, seemingly unrelated image, they are imbued with a different meaning - just like in poetry, or in love. Collage is about improvisation, intuition, and energy. Just like masks can be seen both the conduit to the Gods and their own faces, paper cutouts are used as both color and paintbrush. They create a short-circuit in our experience of reality, a gap where questions can arise. My goal is to keep the visual language extremely simple, as bare as possible, and try to let the characters speak for themselves. Each one has not only a mask and a name, but also a certain attitude, an implied emotional context that introduces an extra dimension.

Audrey Guttman

Download the list of works by clicking here.