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Joel Cooper – Origami Tessellation Masks – Three Faces

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Originally uploaded by origami joel.

My friend Joel Cooper created this wonderful mask, with three interconnected faces. He brought the prototype for this piece with him to NYC and to our Brazil tessellation expo, but to see the finished work (and so quickly!) is really a pleasure indeed.

It seems like something from mythology- take your pick: Greek, Roman, Norse, Chinese, Egyptian… almost all mythological stories involve a multi-faced figure in one way or another.

And, admittedly, the work is a little creepy- the realism he achieves only serves to further this, I think. Many of Joel’s masks approach the Uncanny Valley in terms of their similarity to actual human faces. I don’t mean to lend credibility to this pseudoscientific theory, but for some of his work I find them strangely appealing and at the same time rather scary- perhaps because they do indeed seem like human faces frozen in time (and paper).

For this reason, I think, my favorite mask is still the one that hangs on my living room wall:

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mostly because as a human entity frozen in time, it’s smiling at me, and seems comfortable in it’s eternal paper state.

Joel’s work keeps progressing, and he is certainly one of the most gifted artists that I know (or know of, for that matter.) When I see new works from him like this set of faces, it makes me wonder what other fantastic creations the future holds for him.


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