Adorn Decorate and Embellish - Masks and Fashion

Mask exert a powerful fascination. Masking is a near-universal phenomenon, but the uses and meaning of masks vary greatly between cultures. A mask may reveal or transfigure as often as it conceals. In ritual or religious use, as today in Africa or Oceania, mask wearers may be thought to become possessed by, or even become, a spirit or god. The funeral masks of ancient Egypt were intended to equip the deceases with divine power and attributes. Masks used in Japanese Noh plays or in ancient Greek drama actually helped to portray a character. Today actors dress up to become characters in films, pop stars create their own persona to show to the world and fashion is used by people to express themselves.

Christo & Jeanne-Claude - wrapped trees

“People think our work is monumental because it’s art, but human beings do much bigger things: they build giant airports, highways for thousands of miles, much, much bigger than what we create.  It appears to be monumental only because it’s art.” – Christo 

Barrels Structure“The Wall” (Project for 53rd between 5th and 6th Avenues). 1968

A present under a Christmas tree can be the most intriguing object. Not knowing what is inside is the appeal. The imagination runs wild - we judge it by its form, texture and feel. Often when the present is opened the mystery is gone. Christo and Jeanne-Claude have spent over 40 years wrapping objects and making them disappear - and in the process making us notice them. They started with small objects like magazines -

They worked with larger objects, until eventually they wrapped public buildings. They believed art should be experienced by the public in places other than museums.
They eventually progressed to sections of landscapes  - like an island. Christo & Jeanne-Claude earn the huge amounts of money required to execute their monumental works by executing and then selling preparatory drawings to collectors and dealers.

The actress Gloria Swanson (1924) byEdward Steichen

Fashion reflects the ideas, politics and trends of it age. Different fashions create different moods and identities-

John French, Fashion Photograph, 1965
Image from The V&A's 'Cold War Modern'

The 1960's Retro Futurism

Irving Penn -Chanel Feather Headdress (New York, September 19, 1994), 1996

The highly sophisticated Fashion Photography of Irving Penn.

Invisible Shoe,Andreia Chaves
Viviane Sassen - For DeLaMar Theatre
Viviane Sassen - 'For AnOther magazine'

Pasted photographs and synthetic polymer paint on cardboard