“Metamorphosis” is an ongoing part of a larger project  „Negotiating authenticity. In search of an ideal“ examining alienation, identity change; conscious or unconscious and mutual cultural influences. 

In my research I come across a modern representation of traditional customs and photographs taken many years ago, copied and reconstructed. I paint a new copy of an existing image, which I allow to change in a process as I add new layers; creating a hybrid of time, characters and places. 

I choose pictures randomly from all around the world but I often come across similar styles and patterns. Most of the costumes are elaborately made for both men and women, who perform traditional rituals. Closely related traditions are found throughout the world. The costumes cover most of the body and include painted or tattooed face or decorated masks.
Animal masks are frequently worn as part of creating an animal persona that is different from the human self. Some mask forms bring together myths and symbols to protect us from bad spirits. Masks are frequently integrated into regional folk celebrations and customs but in the process of christianity their meanings were changed. It is generally accepted that the masks, noise, colour and clamour are meant to drive away the forces of darkness and open the way for the spirits of light. Masks are sometimes used to avoid recognition. As a disguise the mask acts as a form of protection for the wearer who wishes to assume a role or task without being identified by others. 

© Aleksandra Jarosz Laszlo 2019