The artist couple Lucy + Jorge Orta returns to La Patinoire Royale/ Galerie Valérie Bach, after a creative artistic hibernation due to COVID-19, through the surprising presentation of a new series of glass masks made in Murano, all designed by Lucy, while she was confined in her Parisian home-studio, during the first confinement a year ago.
Paraphrasing the theme of the mask, which has been the subject of so much discussion, through the political and health prevarications linked to its compulsory and healthy wearing–or not! and such, almost becoming a subject of mockery, Lucy launched a series of reflective drawings last March, fighting the anguish of the pandemic with a 'masquerade', using an infinite variety of coloured faces, in a meditative reflection on the fate of the human being in today's 'disfigured' world, struggling with a health crisis and its consequences.
This act of drawing, similar to a katharsis, became for Lucy a real antidote to gloom, looking at the mask in a positive light, Diving into a repertoire of shapes and types of masks that Lucy and Jorge had gleaned, collected and recorded over the years through their travels around the world, in different cultures, ethnic groups, location, and so on. The creative process is based on a selection from the repertoire thus constituted of key characteristics of diverse forms and origins, a vast universal database of ancestral sources from which the artist draws, as well as from an inventory of endangered species drawn up over the years. These two crucibles are like the formal reservoirs structuring Lucy's inspiration.
The mask is, metaphysically speaking, a human archetype, under all latitudes and at all times. Since antiquity, one finds them in the Bachic rituals of the Hellenistic period, composed at the beginning of elements drawn from nature. The transvestism is, of course, outstandingly human; it emanates from it an almost magical force conferred to the possibility of transformation, mutation, mimicry.
Press release courtesy La Patinoire Royale – galerie Valérie Bach.