Studio Bertjan Pot’s Self-Portrait Masks, A Modern Approach Steeped In Tradition.
The influence of African ceremonial masks can be found in almost every culture around the world. Traditionally masks have been created as either a protective element or as entertainment – today they are most frequently used during festivals like the Venetian Carnival or the Chinese New Year festival.
The new masks series by artist Bertjan Pot was initiated by accident. While trying to create a large carpet using rope the samples wouldn’t remain flat, instead they would curve and bend. After several tries the artist intended to give up but a friend suggested he reshape the rope into masks. The artist was hooked, in a 2017 interview he said, “the possibilities are endless, I’m making new faces every day.”
The lightweight material and endless color options create a fun and modern feeling from something steeped in ceremony. This new art series range from classic ceremonial masks with obvious reference to more introspective, self-portrait style works that are more profound.