Masks!What would the Lone Ranger be without his mask? How about the Phantom of the Opera? Even the invisible man needed his mask of bandages to become visible. Masks can remove pimples, or help some of us rob banks. They even prevent frostbite or infectious disease. Also good in case of chemical warfare. So what are we doing here with this mask theme at Arts Upstairs? You are about to find out...

This "Taxi Driver" is looking apprehensively in his rear view mirror. Is he worried about a lane jumping maniac? No, it's Walt Blumenfeld in the back seat who just told him 138th st. and St Nicholas Avenue. I'd be worried too.

I don't care what this has to do with the theme. I just like it. Abby Bressack conjures up a dutch kitchen in this magical diorama, "Blue Room". Notice the wooden clogs- and the partially consumed apple... or is it a ball of Edam Cheese? Tasty!

Sage Byron captures the essence of princessness in "Ariel". This Rapunzelesque mask is waiting for you to supply the lips, nose and eyes. The blushing cheeks are included in the purchase price.



I think that's a real George Washington on the wall of another diorama drama titled "Anyway, we're safe now, by golly-" The ghostly eagle specter is ready to drop a load on the head of the fellow inside who bears an uncomfortable resemblance to "It", the demented clown in a novel by the same name, written by Stephen King. I guess we should propose a terrible catastrophy to merit this proposed memorial. Maybe Kathleen Evers has anticipated just such a crisis by stuffing the Bill of Rights and Constitution into the trash can.









I'm glad Dana Fraser loves this miniature portrait as much as I do. "Wendy Klein Mask" is positively adored by it's golden frame. Is that the signature flambouyant finger tweak of Dr. Doom in Dana Carvey's masterpiece disco era spy movie or is she just plucking an unwanted chin hair, baby?

I'm ready for some old time religion, like about 5,000 years old. Jill Held helps focus our spiritual energy in this metaphysical triple word name for god... "Dragon Scope", "Crystal Lantern", and "Wise Menorah". The owls provide the wisdom many of us lack.

Julie Parisi Kirby remembers what we forgot to remind ourselves, but she isn't saying what it is. That is why she made "The Forgotten One". It's a pneumonic device, a string tied on the finger of our cerebral cortex, and a hollow eye socket effigy rolled into one. What was the question?



Klaatu Borata Nektu...

That's the special verbal code to turn off the relentlessly murderous cyclops ray of this robotic dyslexic warrior, "Nislik the legendary Martian Crusader" by Lenny Kislin. The only thing missing is a gravity fed tube to slurp the oxygen beer out of those two helmet cans.

The chest medallions are awards for exterminating all human life on Earth. I guess we must have forgot the secret code at the last minute.






This just might be my favorite piece in the show, Wendy Klein's "Carapace".

It has something to do with the sexy pink pucker.












Melissa Koleshis made this miraculous "Medusa" mask. I guess the tiny red teardrop is the itty bitty remorse the monster shed for her innumerable victims. (Use a mirror to avoid getting plastered.)

In a lateral thinking tour de farce, Paloma Kopp juxtaposes just about every branch of the evolutionary ladder in a Rubic's cube of Escherian geometric topology. Skin me five and come up with a title for this untitled drawing titled "Untitled".


Susanne Kosoy paints my kind of "Woman".

I am tempted to pin the tail on the... well, belly dancer?


What is that red slash? One of the seven veils?


Perhaps a schoolmarm will tell us the answer in the little opalescent schoolhouse attached to the right side of the frame.








Here comes "Ram Man" just in time to butt my butt. Thanks to Joseph Prieboy I will be suffering from coccyx shock syndrome.

OK, OK, I give up. It's just too beautiful. Maybe if I promise to refrain from bad jokes for the next fifteen minutes, Nick Alba will let me wear this original Versace, "Il Mare". He bought it and it's obvious why.

Gavin Owen does an homage to Hokusai. Notice the interesting double jointed spinal curvature of the Geisha. This is my homage to Gavin. I think the little green tid-bits on the platter are mochi, a tough Japanese delicacy made from rice gluten that causes the choking deaths of Japanese elders about as frequently as we lose our old folks to chunks of hastily gobbled steak. Or maybe it's opium.

So that wraps up another stimulating Art Safari. Please send all complaints to the soon to be former governor, Pataki.

See you at the next opening of Arts Upstairs!