Portraiture I

Mascolo is, most assuredly, his own master in portraiture:


The horizontal angularity of the shoulders in Painting Thirteen is picked up in  the chiseled shadow of the vertical brow line and in the wonderful fingers that parallel the shoulders. The eyes are bold. The left eye stares out at the viewer. The right eye catches sight of something to the right and behind us.  The art of Feininger’s Weimer comes  to mind and the later decadence of Berlin. The burgundy hues of the jacket are subtly registered in the flesh tones of the face. The subject is possessed of such dramatic swagger that one feels he might successfully escape the border upon which his right elbow presses.


Does the lazy eye  above belong to Sartre or perhaps the  jaded eye belongs to any who survey  the  existential woes of the  gladly departed Twentieth century? The forehead is rendered in a series of concentric circles. The nose is a magnificence of twisted cartilage. The eyelids sag from the weight of too many whiskey sours. The declivity above the lips is balanced by one in the chin below them. The recalcitrant collar gracing the bottom edge of the border is a fitting coda to the composition.


 Is the man in black in Painting Fifteen, Picasso or Mussolini?             Or perhaps, the wit and tyranny are suggestive of Mascolo, himself.

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