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Marco Mazzoni is an art maven with colored pencils.

His work is ominous, beautiful and disturbing. While he meticulously details every aspect of his creations, from the lights and shadows of a character’s flesh to the flowers and butterflies that protrude from its mouth, he leaves a signature white space where the eyes should have been. This applies to many of his works involving herbalists. Many have heard that the eyes are a gateway to the soul, a determinant of one’s identity. To draw the eyes right, to breathe life into them on a two dimensional surface is every artist’s struggle. Yet, to completely void a face of eyes at all is a message in itself. The white space Mazzoni creates gapes at us like an unfinished statement; a memory intentionally burned out. We are left with an unsettled feeling, staring at images of a mind overtaking the will of a body. Touching on themes surrounding self-loathe, guilt, noise and empty spaces, Mazzoni’s art is an inspiration to me.

If painters can create stills from real life objects, then why can’t we reverse that and create real life characters out of drawings?

With the thought in mind, I paired up with photographer, Arlo Perez, to bring the drawings into my own style of art. Using the same symbolism of flowers and butterflies as Mazzoni uses in many of his works, I created a headpiece and mask that enveloped my entire face, as to create a level of mental and physical suffocation. I was uncomfortable, bare and vulnerable. I needed to get too deep into my own head that it made me paranoid and slightly crazed. And these are the results:

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