History of masks A mask is an object worn on the face it can be used for disguise, presentation, accesorie or in the performance area which is the topic I will be focusing on. Evidence has been found that the oldest mask dates back to 7000 BCbut people do not recall the meaning or the use for this mask and it’s probably not survived as it is very plain, in this essay I will be writing about the history of masks and two particular mask designers, at present masks are mainly used in the performance rea and come in lots of different varieties, coloures and shapes.
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The first mask made for this purpose is believed to be in ancient greek times the masks display different emotions on the face e,g, happy, sad they are known very well around the world. In ancient greece they used masks in the theatrical area the mask would allow the actor to slip into the character more effectively and bring the actors face closer to the audience these masks could be comical and also sensitive but it depended on the ind of play it was the masks could be taken off anytime within the play to reveal the person identity as the masks were not considered a permanent item.
Now masks are used mainly in films or theatre they are much more modern and come in much more shapes, coloures and materials and some contain extreme detail for example lights etc. Early as the 1970’s John Moll was putting pencil and brush designs to paper with the various costumes and characters that were to change the Sci-Fi world. These rawings were brought onto the BIG Screen with “Star Wars” ‘a new hope’ after Stuart Freeborn and other artists bought the characters and costumes to ‘life’.
Not only Star Wars but also “alien” 1979 where John was to receive a BAFTA nomination for best costume designer. As you can see in his work he uses extreme detail to outline the particular areas in the costume for example the mask it has various features including lightsand is made out of aluminum which would probably be extremely heavy and uncomfortable to wear but is very modern. Now looking at a much different styled designer is W.
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T Benda who was the premiere mask maker of the early Twentieth Century. His masks featured in magazines such asvogue and vanity he created masks for stage productions in New York and London which made him a perfect candidate to design the cover illustration for the mask of “fu Manchu” which he designed extremely well. There is a huge contrast between masks of the past and masks of today masks of the past focus mainly on the emotions on the mask and masks of today focus in theSee More on Mask