Dawn Black
American, born 1970

Dawn Black’s gouache, watercolor, and ink drawings of people pulled from the Internet and various periodicals are meditations on concealed identity. “The practice of masquerade, especially its role in relation to identity is fascinating to me,” she says. “Of particular interest is a disguise’s ability to engender the wearer powerful through clandestine anonymity and paradoxically its ability to allow the concealed to be his or her authentic self.” Her “Conceal Project” (2008-present) is a collection of portraits of individuals wearing costumes or masks, which, Black believes, reveal the wearer’s beliefs about authenticity and sincerity. These drawings constitute a bank of characters for Black, which she later integrates into the more detailed narratives of her larger satirical drawings.

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