“I tend to use relatively traditional materials, but I like to mess things up,” says Brian Kokoska of his oil-on-canvas paintings, clay and mixed media sculptures, and installations. Interested in the scope and expression of human identity, he concentrates on the face. He paints and sculpts invented, cartoonish visages, which appear at once mask-like and impenetrable, vulnerable and expressive. Among the influences shaping his work are the history and practice of portraiture; masks and their uses across cultures; youth culture; androgyny; and what he describes as “post-gender identity.” He claims to be “heavily involved in mask aesthetics, hairstyles, flowers and decoration,” motifs he incorporates into all of his work. Many of the artist’s faces are composed of a mix of masculine and feminine characteristics. With their stylized and exaggerated features, they resemble African and Oceanic masks.