b. 1972, United Kingdom
Midnight Mask, 2009
55.9 x 43.2 x 14 cm
Thomas Houseago's abstracted mask sculptures balance both mythical power and a sense of vulnerability. Using traditional materials like bronze and wood, as well as unconventional ones such as hemp and steel, he creates these mask-like faces that blur the line between two- and three-dimensional art. Across his career, Houseago has drawn inspiration from diverse sources such as William Blake, Picasso, African masks, and even Star Wars.
Midnight Mask, with its distinctly human yet eerie features, evokes dark and macabre imagery—skulls, death masks, and the iconic Darth Vader mask. Through the distorted human face, Houseago explores dualities in sculpture and personal practice—bridging historical and contemporary, dynamic and still, pop culture and fine art, and the timeless theme of life and death.
Houseago's collection of sculpted masks and figures continues the tradition of sculpture's connection to death. The enduring medium captures the gravity of life and loss throughout history.