Unknown African, ‘Ibibio Wooden Polychrome Mask’, 20th Century AD, Barakat Gallery
Unknown African, ‘Ibibio Wooden Polychrome Mask’, 20th Century AD, Barakat Gallery

Masks are unique in the world of art in their expression of complex emotions directly related to a particular event. A masquerade with many masks involved creates a different 'world', where viewer and participant interact emotionally and often times physically. This very delightful mask shows a Western influence in the facial features, and in the use of paint which the Europeans introduced. The particular markings indicating eyelashes, plus the addition of hair for the moustache and goatee further heighten this impression. Using black as a form of delineation the artist has given the character great expression, particularly in the curved black lines around the cheeks and the broad eyebrows. The combined effect of the superb craftsmanship presents a face we are very comfortable with, as if he is a beloved uncle come to see us during festival time. Wherever he next visits he is certain to bring laughter and merriment to everyone.

About Unknown African

Solo Shows

2017
Linda Bird Ltd, 
London,
Bringing out the tribal

Group Shows

2016
Atlanta,
Artworks with no pricing