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MASKENFREIHEIT

Artist Statement

This series explores individual and social psychology through figurative abstraction and acrylic painting. The absurdity and anxiety of our existence are manifested into a cacophony of caricatures through multi-layered compositions. While my paintings are informed by the anxieties of the zeitgeist, I create them in a playful way. I seek to capture the intertwined nature of life’s joys and woes. My artistic concerns involve the psyches of crowds, drawing inspiration from both the ancient and modern worlds; the compositions reflect both groups of people throughout human history and those currently on the internet in the era of social media. 

Maskenfreiheit is a German word translating to “the freedom that comes from wearing masks.” My cartoonish figures evoke the chaos and anonymity of the online world in the wake of “fake news” and misinformation. While I began creating this series a few years before the COVID-19 pandemic, the concept of the mask is particularly pertinent in these unusual times when masks and crowds carry new meaning.

In addition to reflecting our current era, I reference ancient mask art from around the world. The tumultuous and joyful nature of human existence isn’t unique to the present day, despite new technologies that seem to simultaneously connect and divide us.