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These works represent my further exploration of 'The Gaze' and its prominence in Art History, particularly European Religious art's myriad portrayals of saints and matyrs replete with aloof serenity, graceful allure and longing distraction.  Such imagery resonates through modern visual media and advertising, playing upon recognition of emotion and the viewer's inevitable response.  Curious parallels can be drawn with the cryptic, theatrical pose and pageantry of mask and masquerade, guise and disguise.

Many of my works are derived from drawings and photographs of the faces of marble and bronze statuary from art museums I have visited in North America, Britain and Europe. Adding layers of subtle expression and sometimes brutal distortion to hitherto frozen features much like painting a blank mask.  I am also interested in the canvas as skin, the face a shroud, torn off and reapplied.  All these characters inhabit the world between the fall of the chaste yet alluring veil and the donning of a grotesque mask, which disturbs yet invites us to the carnival....


Donna Demente