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Buy Some Damn Art: Sara Escamilla

November 10th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Sara Escamilla is a crush of mine – an LA-based artist who works in a variety of media. She is this week’s artist on Buy Some Damn Art and her work, a series of masks inspired by Picasso’s Saltambanque, is just stunning! Sara seems like a old soul – which is something I admire in people. Below are excerpts from the Q/A which you can read here.

Tell us a bit about this series.

It all started around the simple concept of “masks”, but as I started working on it, I kept on drawing these saltimbanque (Picasso) like characters. so, these circus performers kept reappearing and I finally stopped fighting it, and let them in.

Who are the boys and girls in your portraits? are the drawings based on actual people? 

This question made me smile. When I was a kid, my sister always asked me the same thing! They’re never anybody in particular. Just drawings I draw. Informed by everything i see, but conceived from my own brain.
I think it’s funny how no one asks this about someone’s drawing of a tree, “is this a tree you know?”.
Somehow, people want to attach a particular person to a drawing of a human image, but it’s the same thing you know, people and trees. You see so many in your lifetime, you know the willows from the oaks and you can recall them on command..

Any thoughts on our youth-obsessed culture?

I turned 30 this year and live in Los Angeles. It’s sometimes a frightening place – with so many people trying to run away from their aging selves (either in the way they dress, or injectables, etc). But it’s only frightening because they don’t realize it’s a facade they’re trying to hold on too so desperately.

On the other hand, some people wear that mask with such joy de vivre and good humour because they know and you know – it’s a mask. I think this is the secret, to why male transvestites seem to enjoy their sense of being a woman more than women do! We (women) just (falsely) take that mask for the real thing.

The truth is, no one really has a good idea of what they look like to other people (much less, to themselves) you can get a glimpse of people’s true selves every now and then when you encounter someone for the first time. But the shocking truth of that initial impression usually washes away quickly, after you start conversing with them, and all their self-monitoring and affectation distorts that first impression.

I think maybe our culture would be healthier if we all could stop trying to control our image so fervently. It’s so painful, to anyone with any sensitivity, to watch someone struggle to maintain a mask. Or maybe, if you do wear one – do so with a wink to the absurdity of it.