Mask: The Present Past
Central Library, Lobby Gallery
Mask: The Present Past by Daniel Rossi
The masks look to the past with modern eyes. They materialize a vision full of colors, forms, lines and symbols, projecting the viewer into a spiritual and mysterious atmosphere of past cultures. My inspiration came from a trip I took to Mexico in 2001. There, I observed an ancient culture still in practice that combined a devotion to spirits and nature, and utilized symbols and ritual objects. Upon my return, I created a series of masks that reflected those ancient forms I had seen, while introducing modern materials.
All of my pieces utilize different materials from daily life and are created by combining woodworking techniques with woodcarving. Using industrial woodcutting machinery, I cut pieces of wood, forming the outline of the masks. Next, I assemble handcrafted pieces and found materials onto the wood. Using enamels, glazes and other materials, the masks begin to take on their final shape.
Daniel Rossi is artistic director of Lexy Division Press in Terni, Italy. He led the design and production of U.S. comics in Italy and has contributed short stories to Marvel Italia. He has taught storyboarding and design, and created clay characters for stop-motion animation and storyboards for the Italian public broadcasting network. Rossi's work has appeared in group and solo exhibitions in Italy, New York City and Washington, DC. In 2005, he completed two public murals commissioned by the City of Guatemala, which aimed at bringing the arts to impoverished neighborhoods.