Plaster of Paris - the mask behind the face by Rhoufi

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Plaster of Paris - the mask behind the face by 

Paris Series

On a masonry wall, in a lane, in the Latin Quarter of Paris, a face pushes itself out to be noticed.

Is it the face behind a mask,
or the mask behind a face?

Beneath it’s painted persona, a colourless, battered soul is revealed.

How do you read it?

To reveal art and conceal the artist,
is art’s aim.

Oscar Wilde – “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

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  • Pascale Baud
    Pascale Baudover 3 years ago

    Quelle merveilleuse trouvaille, Rhoufi !!!
    Je ne sors plus assez pour découvrir de telles choses ;) mais une joie de les voir ici renvoyées à des milliers de km !! ;)

  • Merci Pascale,
    parfois, c’est l’étranger qui erre sans but, qui voit des choses qui nous manquent dans nos propres villes. Ce fut sur un mur près du lieu où Young at heart a été prise, pas loin de la Miche Boule.
    Vous devez venir à partir en la jungle plus souvent et se promener seul ;-))))
    Merci ;-))))

    – Rhoufi

  • Evelyn Bach
    Evelyn Bachover 3 years ago

    The mask is the face, the face is the mask. It’s a Zen thing, probably. Either way, nice find!

  • I think you got it in one Evelyn :-) If the face wears the mask then then the Mask is the Face. Zen indeed ;-)))

    – Rhoufi

  • Catherine Berger
    Catherine Bergerover 3 years ago

    Lovely find Rhoufi – Sometimes the mask hides the true self. Here the wall itself could have been the mask … now reveling the self.

  • I like the idea that we hide behind walls and only venture forth with our masks on. Nice comment, thank you.

    – Rhoufi

  • JanT
    JanTover 3 years ago

    Interesting, R — eyes shut and tongue sticking out, it seems, when I peer closely. So that would become the basis and the painted loops and hues form a mask of some sort, protruding out from a building wall?! Curiouser and curiouser!

  • Well spotted. I like the tongue sticking out and the eyes closed, as if to say “who cares”. You know I found it odd that this photo was rejected by the “StreetArt Group”, presumably because it was sculpture. That someone had applied this to a public wall as a statement of their street art, would have qualified it I would have thought. Bof! Pfftttt!

    – Rhoufi

  • JanT
    JanTover 3 years ago

    And I thought the face had protruded through the wall. But you see it as affixed to the wall. Many interpretations, eh? We hosts have many, I guess.

  • I think the artist made a cast of his own face in plaster, painted it beforehand, bagged up the ingredients for say, plasterer’s cornice cement, and then went looking for a wall. Cornice cement sets really fast and can be moulded with the fingers for quite a while after applying it. So he slapped it on the wall, held it with a little pressure as he smoothed the joint (you can see his finger work around the perimeter, and when set, he nicked off. Voila!

    What I think is really cool though, is how the wall was painted sometime after and the painter went to great pains to preserve the face and the original colour. As we do now in Melbourne’s laneways – the Graffitti is protected.

    Anyway, that’s the method I’m going to use when I leave Rhoufi’s mousch on wall somewhere in our fair city!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    – Rhoufi

  • Victoria McGuire
    Victoria McGuireover 3 years ago

    Effective, arresting, provocative, and what a challenge to create a life-mask in plaster with one’s tongue out! Phththt!!!!! OK, Rhoufi, give us the coordinates so we can locate yours when you’ve attached it to a wall somewhere in Melbourne’s laneways :^)))

  • Ah ha! V, that would be toooooo easy. I was thinking of just sticking it somewhere and waiting to see if anyone saw it and put 2 & 2 together and came up with R. They could take a photo of it and post it on RB and I could confirm or deny. I’d have to put it somewhere on the normal street photographers beat though.

    But what reward would I give for my “capture”. Hmmmmm

    – Rhoufi

  • paintingsheep
    paintingsheepover 3 years ago

    Very wonderful capture!!

  • Thank you Gena, there he was poking his tongue out at me as I busied myself with candids all around him. Gave me quite a start, he did.

    – Rhoufi

  • João Figueiredo
    João Figueiredoover 3 years ago

    Amazing, I saw the same thing when I went to Paris and i took a shot! Still today I don’t know if it is a real person or a very good artwork……

  • Thank you João,
    no I think it is a cast of the artist’s face. He probably cast it in plaster and stuck it to the wall after painting it. I love the idea of 3D Graffitti.

    – Rhoufi

  • Robin King
    Robin Kingabout 3 years ago

    Whoa…..that’s a wall you might not want to stand to close to, again. It eats people!
    This is truly fascinating and compels us to explore it. LOVE that!

  • I’d be more worried about the wall biting me on the bum!!! ;-)))
    Curious things like this exist all over Paris, you just need to wander around in your own little world and they leap out at you. Thank you.

    – Rhoufi

  • Sassafras
    Sassafrasover 2 years ago

    To be unseen, or noticed is to hold a certain freedom . The freedom to stare to one’s heart’s desire; to fill up with looking; to go beneath the surface and unearth mysteries; to be alone.
    and there is always the mask behind the face…the unspoken words…the heart beating , beating…
    I usually love masks, yet find this one off-putting. Can’t say why. Like a clown has jammed his face through wet cement…or some such thing.
    It is a great find, however. And the light is just right for such a sight as this.

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