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click on picture to view an enlargement
a. corbeau tan and black
2011
a. golden corbeau
2011
a. neutral mask *
2011
a.black panther *
2011
a.guerrier *
2011
a.panther *
2011
Arlequin
2002
Arlequin 2
2013
* artwork available at the gallery
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masks

Because it allows the wearer to become somebody else and thus transcend personal limits, the mask has always been an instrument of metamorphosis. Leather is the ideal medium for this passage into the world of appearances since it is essentially a second skin!

I use vegetable-tanned leather, a material that can be easily shaped when wet. I've been making masks for a long time and I developed my own technique, inspired from a moulding technique already in use during the Middle Ages in Italy. It consists of shaping the wet leather over a sculpted form. As it dries, the leather hardens and retains the sculpted shape.

Leather masks have won the favour of theatre people. The masks are alive and become increasingly comfortable over time as they adapt themselves to the user's individual facial features. My main inspiration is the theatre tradition, particularly the commedia dell'arte (Pantalone, Harlequin, Tartaglia), the Japanese nô theatre and the Venice Carnival.

Guy Levesque
Sculptor and mask maker