African masks are considered amongst the finest creations in the
art world and are highly sought after by art collectors. There is a
huge variety of mask types found in Africa which makes classifying
them a difficult task. Face masks are the most common mask type.
They are used throughout Africa. The artists who create mask
are given a special status. They use various materials, included are
leather, metal, fabric and various types of wood.
One of the main characteristics of culture of African peoples
is use of masks in rituals and ceremonies. These masks often
represent a spirit and it is strongly believed that the spirit of the
ancestors possesses the wearer. Some masks are used as Icons
of power to ward off evil spirits and some are used to celebrate
and thank the ancestors during crop harvesting. Though
over the last few decades there has been a sharp decline in masking rituals.
Acrylic on canvas, 29.9"x29.9"
Available, If interested contact
In my painting ,I have juxtaposed these mask drawings in a complex
composition and warm color tones which depicts the warmness
of the African continent. Since many African societies see masks
as mediators between the living world and the supernatural world
of the dead, or their ancestors, I have titled the painting "Mediators".
You will notice the lines on the faces in the painting. These are
the tribal marks and are passed down from family to family. These
are used mainly to differentiate the ethnic groups. Along with the
ethnic identification these are also associated with the spiritual
or religious practices.