Monday, October 7, 2013

Mask of the Beast

Masks can be a wee bit creepy, and many famous horror movie characters wear them, so in the spirit of Halloween (which Australians don't actually celebrate but who cares) I've decided to post some of the masks I found in Venice last year.

*This is also an excuse to share more photos from Venice - which I think I only blogged about once, meaning there are roughly eleventy million pictures left over.

But I guess everyone knows that Venice is lovely.

It is a city with water instead of roads, and boats instead of cars. I don't see how you can improve on that.

Venice is a relatively small place, with a tangle of interconnecting pathways and bridges that defy any kind of sensible mapping. If you are accustomed to moving confidently in straight lines and always knowing where you are going, you might not enjoy navigating so much. But it's perfect for people who like to go in random directions and don't panic when lost. A weirdly liberating experience for those of us with no sense of direction.

Cool fashions are also present.


Anyway, on almost every street there are shops selling masks. These vary widely in complexity and quality, from cheaper and more generic tourist fare... intricate deluxe masks made by true artists.

These are a few of the window displays, which often incorporate a combination of puppets, masks, and puppets wearing masks. Click to enlarge.

Some of the animal ones were truly exceptional. Just wow.

If you're getting a bit of an 'Eyes Wide Shut' vibe, this is no accident. In my wandering I stumbled across the very shop that provided the masks for that film (sorry, can't tell you where it is because I have no idea).

Here is a little intro to the proprietor.

It goes without saying that the shop was magnificent.

I like the wings lady.

Last but not least, one of the most impressive: a huge Medusa mask complete with snakes.

I mean, seriously. Settle down. You're making everyone else look bad.

If you can't make it to Venice for Halloween, you could always watch this documentary instead.

If you do visit, beware of the waters. Even the local fishermen are wary these days...