My old pal, photographer Phyllis Galembohas traveled widely throughout Africa and Haiti. Her preferred subjects over the last few decades have been many participants in masquerades. In traditional African ceremonies, contemporary costume parties and carnivals those who use costume, body paint, and masks to create mythic characters have sat for her. They are colorful, intriguing and sometimes dark and forboding in nature, but these portraits of hers document the transformative powers and mystery of the mask.
Her Aperture book Maske is in back print and Galembo will speak about her work at a book signing this week in New York. Wednesday, March 16 at 6:30PM at the Aperture Gallery and Bookstore, 547 West 27th Street. See you there. I’l be the one in a mask in the back. If you’re not in NYC, you can get her book here.