by Christopher Agostino
I want to post just one more of the exceptional photographs by Phyllis Galembo from her book Maske, found in the article in National Geographic Magazine, April 2012. See the online article and her website for more.
“The tools of modern revolutions, a gun and a phone, are held by a masked youth. Other parts of his hellish carnival attire connect to Haiti’s past. To symbolize the suffering of slaves, he’s wrapped in a rope, his skin is glazed in charcoal and molasses—an inexpensive, easy-to-make masquerade worn since colonial times.” - from the text in the article by Cathy Newman. Charcoal and molasses!
These photographs are compelling not only for the quality of the mask and costumes, but also for the way Galembo photographs the masqueraders. There is a sense of presence to the mask and costumes in these photographs different than what you get looking at a photograph of a masquerader in motion, such as dancing or participating in the ceremony the mask is meant for—and certainly the images are much more powerful than the standard textbook shot of the mask just hanging on a wall. Her photographs focus so completely on the new being created by the mask and costume, and that is what I am responding to as I admire them.
She travels to these places and “puts her ear to the ground in search of masquerade ceremonies.” To photograph the outfits she has the masquerader pose themself however they choose, in front of a wall or such as a backdrop, and shoots just 12 photos. “‘Either I have it, or I don’t,’ she says.”
see the previous post about her work:
See my fine art bodypainting at http://thestorybehindthefaces.com/body-painting/
- Body Painting Dance Company: Art Color Ballet (thestorybehindthefaces.com)
- Body Painting on TV in a Superbowl Ad, a Good Thing, Right? (thestorybehindthefaces.com)
- Amazing body painting! (ladydmakeup.wordpress.com)
- 11 Breathtaking Body Paintings | body art illusions (uphaa.com)
- #100. Body Painting (rominahendlin.wordpress.com)
- Haiti: Haitian Carnival Rediscovered its Colors, Smiles and Beauty – Rapadoo Observateur! (rapadoo.com)