It Is All A Masquerade

Phyllis Galembo
New York based photographer Phyllis Galembo has travelled between the Caribbean & West Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Sierra Leone) documenting the magnificent costumed world and rituals of  The Masquerade. The male-dominated artform is used as a means to illicit awe, inspiration, fear, obedience or to mark momentous occasions such as death, coming of age etc.

We are able to take a glimpse into this visually charged and creative world through the art of whit and narrative that Galembo uses to frame her subjects.

Dressing in costume has a magical quality to it. It becomes a second skin that can free the human spirit allowing you to assume or project another reality; a notion that goes beyond cultural borders. Upon discovering her work, I felt a random connected disconnectedness apparent with the works of contemporary Swiss artist Olaf Breuning, Design/Art duo Vibskov Emenius to Bernhard Willhelm and as far reaching as Japanese fashion label Comme des Garçons.

 

The Masquerade by Phyllis Galembo

The Masquerade by Phyllis Galembo

The Masquerade by Phyllis Galembo

The Masquerade by Phyllis Galembo

The Masquerade by Phyllis Galembo

The Masquerade by Phyllis Galembo

 

 

 

About

Galembo teaches photography at the University of Albany (1978 – Present).
She has published various books including: Dressed for Thrills, 100 Years of Halloween Costumes and Masquerade (2002), Vodou: Visions and Voices of Haiti (1998), Aso-ebi, Cloth of the Family (1997), Divine Inspiration from Benin to Bahai (1993) and Pale Pink (1982).

Her work is available through Steven Kasher Gallery.

Story source: Kindly recommended by London-based artist, Valentin.

[Images via Phyllis Galembo]

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