Although James Ensor (1860-1949) is most well known for his paintings (Which have influenced both expressionism and surrealism), I’ve been seeing his handmade masks pop up on Pinterest.
Not for the maskaphobics out there, these projects gave Ensor saw an opportunity beyond fine art. According To MOMA, he stated “The mask means to me: freshness of color, sumptuous decoration, wild unexpected gestures, very shrill expressions, exquisite turbulence.”
I love the phrase “exquisite turbulence.” But I’m not a fan of actual exquisite turbulence.
It’s been theorized that these masks were modeled after items in the curiosity shop Ensor’s family ran, right beneath his studio.
Quite evocative, no?