Mascarada was a site-specific installation on Vyner Street in East London, once home to a thriving art community. It was conceived as a canvas for an experimental piece blending performance art and runway fashion show. The project was developed in collaboration with the fashion brand Miista for the event Vyner Street Art, designed to launch their AW22 Footwear & Clothing collection and reignite some of the area’s historic vibrant and creative legacy.
For the event, the large-scale painting Mascarada became the basis and background for the performance artwork/catwalk. It opened with Miista’s boldly unconventional models posing motionless within the works’s interactive elements: cut-out openings, doors and masks. One by one the models began to move, emerging from the painting onto the runway. Following the event, the site-specific installation remained on show, open to the public for the following two months.
Mascarada explored the psychology of masks, how they disguise, deceive, or even heighten emotional states. The long painting was divided in five parts (a pentaptych) each piece focusing on a theme: The Horse, The Lovers and the Hangman, Giant Mouth Eats Upside-down Reality, The Eye that Sees it All, The Trapeze Artist.
Mask on, mask off, mask on, mask off… What is mask and what is not? I watched the horse run away from me, spitting our dreams through his mouth. Heartbroken. Thriving. Unspoiled. The little magic elf poked through his tail, telling tales… Was it dreams or is it love? Kiss me tenderly and I won’t feel forced to come upside down on the stage tonight. Giant mouth eats it all, the eye sees it all, life goes on.
Photography: Manuel Vázquez, Cristian Peña.