The Phantom of the Opera Reimagined by B&A
Masks have been a part of artistic expression for millennia. Allowing humans to take the face of another being transcends the human experience and brings us into contact with the divine (and the basest of creation). They allow us to step out of ourselves and reach another understanding of how the universe works, and how we relate to it. In many ways, the mask reveals. It gives us the freedom to express our true selves, no longer chained by our identity, finally liberated to be what we explore. For every artist that exploration is different, and every artist’s mask is different.
2014’s “Art of the Mask” was a celebration of Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera. The longest running show on The Great White Way marked another season of success by inviting fans and artists on a week-long retrospective and behind the scene investigation. Props and costumes from the show were available for study, as well as educational displays about the history and workings of the show. But the highlight of the show was a series of masks created by different artists. There was a contest that engaged all Phantom Fans from around the world, encouraging them to submit their own designs, but there were a handful of working artists tapped by Serino Coyne that included B&A’s Tes One, Victor Gadino, Griesbach / Martucci, ilovedust, and Chris Parks who got in on the fun (as well as up and coming artist Claudia Griesbach). The designs were only limited by the artists’ imaginations (and what they could fit on the show’s iconic mask).
In each of these artist’s interpretations we see how the mask plays creatively with the themes of the story, the artistry of the production, and the distinct style of each artist. All the masks were auctioned off to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. So at least we know behind the mask is a kind heart.