With today’s drawing (ink pens were used), I wanted to represent the idea of wearing different masks and how we create different characters depending on the situation we are in. I also wanted to portray the idea of when all these parts clash and mix.
In the book, ‘One, none and one hundred thousand’ written by Luigi Pirandello in 1926, he writes about how everyone wears masks in order to survive.
It explores how we are so obsessed about being what society wants us to be, that we tend to forget who we are deep inside.
At one point, one of the main characters in the book, he was not sure anymore if what people were seeing was who he thought he was.
We go to work and we put on a mask. We go to a gig and we wear another mask.
Depending on where we go and with who we are, we behave according to that situation.
In my life I have been creating lots of characters.
When I was a teenager, I wanted to be a rebel punk kind of guy.
When I started university, I got introduced to the underground scene, the world of the electronic music and its Raves Parties (becoming big fan and supporter of the illegals ones).
My need for belonging made me go from skinny ripped jeans to trousers that were 2 to 3 sizes bigger then my actual size. From striped shirts to black hoodies, from amphibious shoes to skater shoes.
Wherever we go, we want to be accepted and to fit in.
Characters help us find that external acceptance, but until we truly accept ourselves there will not be any acceptances at all.
Characters also lead to having double, triple and many more lives parallel to each other.
During my time at uni, Monday to Friday I was a student, on the weekends, a party animal.
When I moved to London I kept the same approach, I only went from student to employee mode when at work and when I had free time, I was the soul of the party.
But what happens when we drop the mask?
Are we still able to recognise ourselves for who we truly are?
Are other people capable of seeing our true selves?
That’s why wearing masks and portraying characters can be a risky business. If we stay in character for too long we can distance our selves from our true nature.
Like the character from Pirandello’s book, there have been times where I was concerned if people knew who I was apart from what I portrayed on the outside.
When I graduated I remember people being in complete shock as they saw only the party animal.
Behind the mask you can find the essence of a person, his soul.
“Do not judge a book by its cover” applies to people too. You never know what’s the backstory of that person.
Wearing masks is part of our survival in society, our ability to adapt to places and contest.
We should never lose contact with our soul.
We should always stay true to who we are because sooner or later that mask will become heavy and it will drop.