Masks Used In Art and Culture

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  1. Dramatic Mask

This is a representation of a mask used in theatre, commonly known as the drama mask.


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2. King Tutankhamen’s mask

This is King Tut’s mask, which is a prominent figure in ancient Egyptian cultures, and is encased in gold to preserve the kings mummified body.


3. Medieval Masks of Shame

These were masks used in the medieval period and the renaissance as a punishment to those who did something offensive, such as gossiping for example.


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4.Dragon Head Mask

These are masks used in Chinese culture for festive occasions.


5.Burqa Mask

Used for religious purposes, people tend to have fabrics as methods of concealing in a mask type of manner.


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6.Roman Bronze Lion Mask

This is a mask frequently used in architectural designs, and seen on older greek or romanesque inspired buildings a door handles or water fountains.


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7.Gothic inspired spiked mask and collar

These are masks usually used in fashion to represent designs of different cultural personalities.

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8. A man in a birds head mask

These are the oldest form of masks, and the beginning to be exact as these drawings made by cavemen to explain their version of the representation of masks.


9.Scary Masks

This is a representation of a typical scary mask in films and movies.

Masks Used in a Metaphorical Sense 

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10.. The Little Mermaid

This is a metaphorical representation of a childhood story of the evil stranger pretending to be good in order to have their way. This is from a classic Disney animated film.


11.Superhero Masks

These are masks created by superheroes as way to conceal their identity to do good. Found commonly in animated comics.

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12. Social Media masks

This is a mask frequently experienced in present day society, and commonly seen in online media of false personas.

Masks Used For Personal Use

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13. A gas mask

This is a representation of a mask used to protect oneself in case of an emergency inhalation or contact with toxic gases.

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14. A surgical mask

This is a surgical mask used in hospitals by doctors who are examining their patients. Used primarily in healthcare.

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15.Facial Mask

This is a mask used in beauty care regimens, most commonly known as the face mask.

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16.Army camouflage mask

This is a mask used by soldiers for blending themselves in with nature, from incoming strangers, and for self protection.

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17. Ice Hockey mask

This is a mask used by sports based people who need to wear them as part of their safety gear while playing in games.


18. Sleep Mask

Use as a shield against light when sleeping. A half mask of sorts.

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19.Bee Keepers

These are masks used by bee keepers for safety and protection from bees, and possibly getting stung.

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20.Virtual Reality Mask

Becoming increasingly popular, these are the latest technology in terms of the usage or representation of modern day masks.


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This is a series of sculpted works created by Anish Kapoor for his exhibition set in the Gladstone Gallery called the Internal Objects In Three Parts. 

It reminds me of a mask in way as it shows a piece of the body ripped apart, which could have been a face in the way he paints it.

Kapoor, Anish. 2016. Internal Object In Three Parts. Image.


This is one of the graffiti inspired creations by Stephen Powers inspired by the signs we see at Coney Island.

This reminds me of a mask and my project in particular of trying to make it uncliche and defamialiarized as Powers uses this concept in his painting as shown above with phrases.

Powers, Stephen. 2016. Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull). Image.


This is a dress I observed for one hour at the MET. It relates to the mask concept because it reminded me of  a goldfish as the possible inspiration for the outcome.

van Herpen, Iris. “Manus X Machina”. The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, I.E. The Met Museum, 2016.




This is a sculptural piece from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in the Manus x Machina fashion exhibition. This could be an interesting material to use for my studio project made my Miyake Issey as a means of experiemnting with different materials.

Miyake, Issey. 2016. “Flying Saucer” Dress (Extended). Image.

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“Brooklyn Museum: Disguise: Masks And Global African Art”. Brooklynmuseum.Org, 2016.

This is the most direct relation to my mask project and it is an Ode-Lay mask by an unidentified Temne artist.







For the 25 things assignment, I came across a range of difficulties as well as some solutions to fixing them as I gradually progressed down the list of examples on my vast topic about masks.  The first problem was trying not to find a couple of examples that might be too familiar to one another regarding the categories they were placed. For example, one section named Masks Used in Art and Culture had a picture of a dramatic mask used in theater as an example, and the section named Mask Used in a Metaphorical Sense had a picture of the Little Mermaid being asked to trade in her voice by the evil sea witch Ursula, who eventually transforms into a human (or changes her mask) in a sense etc. Placing these two together wouldn’t make much sense in the contrastive ideas I was trying to arrange them carefully within. And so I made a bunch of lists, and regrouped most of my mask examples all into categories, which not only helped the problem I started out with, but fixed the potential complications I may have had to face later on if I didn’t.  The inspiration for the 25 things collecte came from trying visiting the Brooklyn Museum exhibition on masks named the Disguise: Masks and Global African Art exhibit when I saw the different ideas that masks could have been used in culturally. For example, one artist in the exhibition had a small display of dedicated to the ghost stories concerning masks, and so it made me wonder what other contexts it could be used in. Finally, although creating a list of 25 different inspirations got even more wearying as the list got longer, it was definitely worth it as it was a different technique to coming up with ideas for a project perhaps, than the usual way I go about it where in I just stick to one plan and work further on it.



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