Mirrors and masks - Page 2

In praise of the art book during a Kindle era

|
(0)
Ordinary people turn into mythic figures through costume in Phyllis Galembo's monograph Maske

But if there is any book out there right now that truly justifies why art and photo books still exist, it's got to be Phyllis Galembo's Maske (Chris Boot, 208 pages, $46). I love this book! In it, ordinary people turn into mythic figures and magicians, tricksters, and gods through fantastic costumes in African and Caribbean rituals and celebrations. Striped bodysuits that cover the entire body, including the face, conjure both Sesame Street and Freddy Kruger. Outfits are made entirely of bunched greenery. A lacquered wooden mask topped with a headdress and a full-body model doubles and then triples a small boy's mass. The images themselves are striking, statements on both fashion and fetish. Knowing that there are 180 of them, and explanations for each one, makes the imagination take off on plywood wings.

Also from this author

  • Panther cry

    New Bay anthology "Listen Whitey!" plays the sounds of black power

  • 'AMERICA' the beautiful

    An open letter to Glenn Ligon

  • A better tomorrow

    Will Alexander seeks a unified-all-inclusive art theory in Compression & Purity

  • Also in this section

  • Brilliant exodus

    Arthur Szyk's 1930s Haggadah packs fresh visual punch.

  • Saving Yosemite

  • Art is hard

    CAREERS + ED ISSUE: It's up to our artists to save the Bay Area from becoming like everywhere else -- if they can hang in there. Hang in there!