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Patrick Foran’s charcoal drawings take viewers behind the mask

The masks we wear and their various uses – nefarious and otherwise – are the subject of a new exhibition of drawings by Patrick Foran on view through Aug. 9 in Niagara University’s Castellani Art Museum.

The show, “Patrick Foran: Defacement,” explores the mask’s function as an identity concealer (think of the space-helmeted duo of Daft Punk or Sia in her shroud of blond bangs) or as the symbol of a new and hitherto hidden identity (think of Batman).

The “body-helmet structures,” according to a release from the museum, “become recognizable symbols for competition, entertainment, military aggression/protection, political ideologies or social protests. Ultimately, these drawings open a critical dialogue regarding a multitude of social and political issues regarding power, identity and personal accountability.”

The show is part of the Castellani’s TopSpin series, intended to give emerging artists a platform and connect them with a wider audience. Admission to the museum is free.

-Colin Dabkowski

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