This project, La Comedia, is part of an ongoing collaboration with A priori Duo (David Mather, baritone, and Bahar Soyoz, piano), featuring Jessica Bloch, soprano. In this collaboration, I explored the continued transformation of stock characters from one century to the next and how these traits were expressed through their costumes and masks.
La Comedia’s program uses a multimedia approach, combining music and visual art to express the many masks people wear in society and the various relationships people experience while wearing these masks.
I created each mask you see by molding fabric and yarn and sealing them with liquid epoxy resin. Each mask embodies a character from La Comedia or Shakespeare and emulates the threads of connections between these characters as they transformed through the centuries.
They are displayed on a backing of cotton muslin, hand-stitched to emulate the fashionable methods of fabric manipulation and pleating from the Elizabethan and Shakespearean eras.
Masks and costumes are transformative tools, allowing the wearer to alter their identity and gain the freedom to break the prescribed normative social, class, and gender norms. We cling to the stock characters of Commedia and Shakespeare alike because they reflect our humanity.
The goal of this collaboration is to bring together art, music, and performance in a way that is transformative and transportive.
This program explores the human themes of love, longing, sorrow, determination, and hope, which have continued to transcend time, no matter what mask society wears.
 La, Commedia: Ophelia Mask, Yarn, Resin, 12” x 6”, 2023
This mask is a haunting tribute to the tragic character from Shakespeare's Hamlet. Inspired by the painting "Ophelia" by John Everett Millais, it captures the essence of Ophelia's demise by drowning surrounded by the beauty of nature.
The mask features shades of green to mimic the look of water, symbolizing Ophelia's watery grave. Delicate branches from willow trees swirl around the mask, caught in the water, representing her connection to the natural world.
Incorporating elements from the painting, the mask includes flowers trailing behind Ophelia, such as red poppies symbolizing sleep and death.

 La, Commedia: Romeo’s Mask, 2023 fabric, Yarn Resin, 5” x 4”, 2023
La, Commedia, Juliett’s Mask, Cotton, Yarn Resin, Acrylic Paint 5” x 4”, 2023

The Romeo and Juliet Masks" is a pair of art pieces that intricately depict the tragic love story of Shakespeare's most famous couple. These masks are crafted with meticulous attention to detail and symbolize the themes and events of the play.
The Romeo mask, crafted from silver fabric, features swirling patterns reminiscent of a flower on the forehead. This design symbolizes Romeo's thoughts and love for Juliet as he drinks the poison, ultimately leading to his demise. The mask is further adorned with purple and blue threads branching over the face, representing the poison spreading through his body as he dies.
In contrast, the Juliet mask is cast in gold and adorned with pink roses on the cheeks. The burned edges of the fabric emulate wilting, symbolizing her untimely death. These elements symbolize Juliet's royalty as a Capulet and her tragic end.
Together, these masks are two halves of the same whole, representing the inseparable bond between Romeo and Juliet despite the tragic circumstances that led to their downfall. The masks capture the essence of the two lovers and the events that shaped their fateful love story.
La, Commedia: Pantalones Mask, Yarn, Resin, 5” x 4”, 2023
La, Commedia: Hamlett's Mask, Yarn, Resin, 5” x 4”, 2023
La, Commedia: Columbian's Mask, Cotton, Yarn, Resin, 5” x 4”, 2023
La, Commedia: Harlequin's Mask,  Cotton, Yarn Resin,  12” x ”, 2023
La, Commedia: Bauta's Mask, Cotton, Yarn Resin,  Acrylic Paint 12” x 11”, 2023
La, Commedia: Perriott's Mask,  Cotton, Yarn Resin,  Acrylic paint 12” x 11”, 2023

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