Thursday, December 9, 2010


Virtue has a veil, vice a mask - Victor Hugo

 Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin, Anastasia, 1994

 Edward Steichen

 Pierre Molinier, Claire et Alain

  A French Satire (ca. 1810)
"It were a real increase of human happiness, could all young men from the age of nineteen be covered under barrels, or rendered otherwise invisible; and there left to follow their lawful studies and callings, till they emerged, sadder and wiser, at the age of twenty-five." (Thomas Carlyle)

My aunt Betty

 Gregorio Sciltian, Maskerade, 1930

 Cesare Sofianopulo, Maschere, 1930

 Hannah Höch, The Staircase, 1926

 Charley Toorop, Clown in front of the ruins of Rotterdam, 1945

 Paul Cadmus,  Mask and False Noses, n.d.

 Anonymous, Chain screens on steel helmet to protect soldiers' eyes from fragments of shell, rock, etc.; manufactured by E. J. Codd Company, Baltimore, Maryland, 1918

Unknown Photographer, 1940s
World War II - Like girls from Mars are the "top women" in the blast furnace department at U.S. Steel's Gary, Indiana Works. Their job is to clean up at regular intervals around the tops of Gary Works' twelve blast furnaces. As a safety precaution, the girls wear oxygen masks while they are doing the clean-up job.

 Margaret Bourke-White, Closeup portrait of Russian iron puddler w. glasses parked over his brow, at the "Red October" Rolling Mills, Stalingrad 1931

 Barthel Gilles, Self-Portrait with Gas Mask, 1930

Otto Dix, Stormtroopers during a Gas Attack, 1924

This etching seems to have been designed especially to illustrate the passage where another painter, Jacques-Emile Blanche, recounts what he saw in March 1916: "Today", he wrote in his diary, "we went down into these troglodyte dwellings where warring monks, officers aged between 50 and 60, good men who have bidden farewell to worldly things, did their 'dirty work' with the ingenuous, childish and methodical spirit of Benedictine monks. We saw the monstrous, grotesque masks of the gas masks, those fearsome goggled snouts which men with such paternal, such gentle faces, so ill-fitted for war, adjust with all the care demanded by the insidious poison."

 Madame Yevonde, All Crisis, 1939

 Ralph Crane, Man wearing a WWII Russian helmet and gas mask during the anti-election demonstrations in front of the City Hall, San Francisco, 1968

 Marie Hansen, Rows of WACS after having put on their gas masks for training drill; Fort Des Moines, 1942

 Chris Steele-Perkins, Virtual Reality helmets. Tokyo motor show, 1999

"My sister Eva B. She says Facebook is for retarded people." - Manfred von Richthofen

 Pink Stormtrooper protester at the G20 Summit

 Rudolf Wacker, Ilse Wacker with Mask, 1925

 Franz M. Jansen, Masken, 1925

 Rogerio Reis, Surfistas de Trem (Train Surfers), 1995

 Homer Sykes, Two young IRA "Hoods" with petrol bombs, 1980
Thanks to

Subcommandante Marcos

 Thomas D. Mcavoy, 1956
Dutch beekeeper, Gerrit Norsselman wearing a heavy cotton cloth hood with a pipe pertruding through the facial screen using the smoke to help keep the bees at a safe distance.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), Jeune femme à la voilette

 Louis Anquetin, Woman with Veil, 1890s

 Gustaf van de Woestyne (1881-1947), Les deux printemps

 Otto Dix, Lady with Mink and Veil, 1920

 Viscount Hastings, Untitled, 1934

 Maria Lassnig, Couple, 2005

 Too late

 John Heartfield, 1930
Whoever Reads Bourgeois Newspapers Becomes Blind and Deaf: Away with These Stultifying Bandages!

McQuarrie, 1943
Eyes of Censorship - peering through paper counter-stamped by U.S. Censors Offices, Algiers

 Paul Outerbridge, Self-Portrait, 1927

 Berenice Abbott, James Joyce, 1926

"Jaun after he had in the first place doffed a hat with a reinforced crown and bowed to all the others in that chorus of praise of goodwill girls on their best beehiviour who all they were girls all rushing sowarmly for the post as buzzy as sie could bie to read his kisshands, kittering all about, rushing and making a tremendous girlsfuss over him pellmale, their jeune premier and his rosyposy smile, mussing his frizzy hair and the golliwog curls of him."

 Irving Penn, Girl with Tiny Goggles, New York, 1994

 Wilhelm von Schadow, Muse of th Performing Arts, 1802

 Henry Robert Morland (1716 - 1797), The Fair Nun Unmasked

 Joseph-Désiré Court (1797-1865), Le Masque

 Guillaume Seignac (1870-1924)

 Gino Severini, Pulcinella, 1920s

 Comtesse de Castiglione, Scherzo di Follia, 1863

 Hans Feibusch, Trommler (Drummer), 1934

 Karl Hofer, Grosser Karneval, 1928

 Max Beckmann, Alfi with Mask, 1936

 Jaromir Funke, After Carnival,1924

 Dmitri Baltermants, Test Pilot, 1961

 Andreas Feininger, Portrait of a woman wearing a scuba diving mask, 1955

 Richard Müller, Laurel and Fool Cap, 1916

 J. Webber, A man of the Sandwich Islands, in a mask, 1776

 Irving Penn, Man with Pink Face, New Guinea, 1971

 Art Rickerby, Fiber glass mask used by ice hockey goalie, Boston 1962

 WOLS, Pavilion de l'elegance (Madeleine Vionnet), 1937

 Phyllis Galembo, Abora Traditional Masquerade, Cross River, Nigeria, 2004

 Erwin Blumenfeld, Nude under Wet Silk, Paris, 1937

 Steven Meisel, Isabella Rossellini

 Shinjiku, Daido Moriyama

 John Loengard , Brassai's eyes, Paris, 1981

 Marguerite Burnat-Provins, Confiance, 1926

 Wladyslaw Teodor Benda, LIFE-Cover, 1922

 Gyula Batthyány (Hungary, 1888 - 1959), Untitled

 Adolph Menzel, Studio Wall, 1872 

 Diego Rivera, The Painter's Studio, 1954

 Maurice Tabard, Culte Vaudou, 1937

 René Magritte, The Return of the Flame, 1943

 Eric Fischl, The Bed, the Chair, Jetlag, 2000

 Erich Consemüller, Woman in B3 club chair by Marcel Breuer wearing a mask by Oskar Schlemmer and a dress in fabric designed by Lis Beyer, 1926



  1. Hi,

    You are using my photograph of " Homer Sykes, Two young IRA "Hoods" with petrol bombs, 1980" without my permission. Can I have a link to my website please. And can you let me know where you took thjs image from?

    < >

    Thank you for your co-operation.

  2. < >

    Please dont steal my images if you like them ask my permission

    Homer Sykes


    Belenus Sun worship Mask. Naked Hippy woman bare breast partially nude wearing a mask as disguise.

  4. I'm sorry, Homer. I have now put a link to your website into the article. Is that ok - or do you want me to remove your photo? I found the photo a long time ago, and don't remember where. It's definitely not from your site. Best regards, Gunther.

  5. Hi Gunther, Thanks. What i would really like is to provide you with another version of the same photograph with a small but clear watermark so that if its dragged off it at least has my name attached to it.

    You have no idea how people use my work without payment or permission, well maybe you have.

    By the way i love your flickr site PhotoStream.

    Best Homer ( )

  6. in trinidad:

  7. i would love to know about the censorship photo, sho took it.

    and i have to agree with above post

    for those of us from the "old school" of copyright laws and royalty checks, it is sometimes hard to see

    yet i understand the freedom of exchange.

    everything is so very different now.

    love your site


  8. “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” - Oscar Wilde

  9. Beautiful, dear G.

    But did old Victor Hugo really understood the symbolic of the mask?

    A mask has no reverse, its nature is in the void of its empty gaze, it is a symbiotic epiphanic artefact that allows to reveal by hiding, it is only existing when it is worn, otherwise it is nothing.
    Remember Euripides' Dionysus in The Bacchantes, who is, while disguised, saying the following words to Pentheus:
    Was it by night or in the face of day that he constrained thee?
    'Twas face to face he intrusted his mysteries to me."

    The veil has a different symbolic, the veil is the Sacred, totem and tabou, marking both what is forbidden and worshipped. The dialectic of the veil is the one of vertue and vice: Salome is accessing to vice when she is dropping up her veils, dropping parts of herself: her conscience, her regrets, her ethics, her compassion...

    This is not the case of the mask: the dialectic of the mask is this of the One and the Multiple.
    The veil is separating the self from the Other in you and around you, while to make the mask alive you have to unite with the Other...

    Thank you for triggering these mornings thoughts,