Gold textured mask with a black background

A human face painted in gold with textured and raised sculpture relief on the canvas with a black painted background.
A relief mask with texture and gold acrylic paint

My latest work is a mask inspired by my ancestral Yoruba tribe from West Africa. I wanted to represent the model of an elongated and oval shaped face, as this is commonly seen on traditional masks from the region.

A human face painted in gold with textured and raised sculpture relief on the canvas with a black painted background.
A gold textured mask by Stephanie Konu

Here you can see an up close and angled perspective of the nose bridge of the mask. The area is raised slightly to show a break in the surface of the face.

The method of this painting further explores my current practice of singular images against a black negative space. For this blog post, I felt that it was beneficial to take photos of the side angles and above/below vantage points to fully emphasize the immense texture in this piece.

A human face painted in gold with textured and raised sculpture relief on the canvas with a black painted background.
A gold mask inspired by ancient Yoruba ancestral masks painted by Stephanie Konu

A side view reveals a crevice of texture that was created when I applied some very grainy pieces to the face surface. I did this to add drama to the piece, and to represent the tribal scars of warfare that this mask would traditionally represent.

The eyes are a deep vacant black with glowing gold specks that are raised and have texture. My initial response was that seemed “spooky” but I think it was necessary to have gold floating over top of a black area for the eyes; as it allows the eyes to have their own space and stand out.

A human face painted in gold with textured and raised sculpture relief on the canvas with a black painted background.
Side of mask painting by Stephanie Konu

If looking closely, you can see a faint outline of lips protruding from the surface. I tried my best but I often get impatient when I have a good idea that I am excited about. Adding lips to emphasize the African features was one of these ideas. The next time I attempt to make a mask like this, I would like to spend more time on smoother corners and more pronounced features.

A human face painted in gold with textured and raised sculpture relief on the canvas with a black painted background.
Lips of the ancestral mask are faintly seen here

Thank you for stopping by, and as always I enjoy reading your comments

-S

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