Always Smiling, Always Hidden

Mixed Media / Objet d’Art – 9″ x 11.5″ (including frame)

This painting and those following are later stage extensions of this painting series.

As my wounds began to heal over, I found myself putting on a cheery face but not feeling like it was mine. The emotional rollercoaster I had been on for the past few years left me feeling psychologically exhausted. I found myself confused as to who “I” really was.  Was I only a “survivor”, formed from the mold of what had been done to me? Or was I someone else – someone who I could now form into something of my own making?  More likely, I was something in between.

That’s why in this artwork, I used a ceramic mask – an object made by someone else – to create an artwork of my own intent. Beneath the mask is a blurred, grainy photo of my face, which can’t be seen except upon close inspection and with adequate light.

That’s how I was feeling – the real “me” was fuzzy and lurking somewhere in the darkness behind the face I put on for the rest of the world to see.

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Close up shot to show the face hidden:
always-smiling-always-hidden detail