Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Yesterday was Fat Tuesday. I took out my "collection" of dollar store masks and did a few photography projects. All the talk of bundling up and taking pictures is great until I actually do it. It's making being a "snowbird" look more and more tempting. 

A photographer I follow on Facebook has been showcasing his photos of women in masks in Venice. They are really beautiful and most have this look. Women wear this during carnevale in Venice along with beautiful costumes. 

With these masks, everyone is "beautiful" in exactly the same way. When the woman removes the mask to a stranger, will the stranger be disappointed. Will she see the letdown in the stranger's eyes? Or will the stranger say that she is even more beautiful than her mask? The cliche that we all wear a mask is, of course, one we hear over and over. 

The Venetian masks are also, in their own way, art pieces as well. So it could be just the opportunity to wear something that is a bit of art for a day or two that makes these masks so popular. 

In the USA, masks are normally worn only on Halloween except for places that celebrate Mardi Gras. American masks are generally funny or scary. Political masks are popular during election year. Will there be lots of Trump masks for Halloween this year since it's an election year? Bank robbers like masks. Some like to use Halloween masks to frighten their victims. How many Donald Trump bank robberies will happen this year? 

Masks aren't just face coverings. The faces that we portray to the public portray our emotions: either the ones that are real or the ones that we want the public to know. Some people are better at this than others. 

One of my photo challenges this week was a self portrait. I did two - one of my sitting in a chair reading and one that was just a quick mobile shot of me in a feathered mask I got at a local dollar store. 

I intentionally did a close up that showed only the upper part of my face. It looks kind of spooky and definitely strange. Who is that? Or WHAT is that? I tried to keep all emotion out of my eyes. 

The masks we wear every day are necessary. Having our emotions playing so readily on our faces every day would be uncomfortable for everyone. Once in a while the masks do slip. Then come the consequences. 

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