“Be Mysterious: Writers In Masks” Features Kurt Newton

by Kurt Newton

When Mercedes first came up with her mad cross-promotional scheme to showcase writers and artists wearing masks, I admit I thought it was a bit silly, a variation on the child’s game of dress-up.

But as the weeks unfolded, and Mercedes’ blog presented people in gas masks, clown masks, masquerade masks, even a World War II deep-sea diver’s helmet, I began to realize just why I was reluctant to participate.

Masks scare me.

These blatant misrepresentations of oneself, ironically, exposed for me the subtle, near-invisible masks we all wear on a daily basis.  None of us are truly who we present ourselves to be…

The church-going family man who goes hunting with “the boys” every other weekend, in reality belongs to a private militia preparing for the believed impending race war…

The next-door neighbor who politely waves from his well-groomed lawn, but behind closed doors eyes your children with unnatural intent…

The woman who lies next to her husband at night, the memory of her lover still fresh between her legs, the mask of her fidelity carefully affixed…

What scares me isn’t the lie or the falsehood.  What scares me is the truth behind that lie, the face behind the mask.

But not all masks are hiding something evil.  The truth is we wear many faces, many masks.  The mask we wear at our workplace is not the same as the one we wear at home.  There’s a mask reserved for loved ones and one reserved for those whom we despise.  Masks to hide our excitement, our nervousness, our sadness, our grief.  All are necessary if we are to navigate through this society we live in.

But I couldn’t bring myself to slip a mask over my face and take a picture.  The safety, the comfort — the freedom — of that simple act might have brought forth something perhaps I did not want to see reflected in my eyes.
So I chose a photograph of myself instead.  I manipulated the shading, colors and contrast to produce four images.  At least, that way, my eyes could not change.
Or so I believed.

If you look closely (something which I now refuse to do), you will see four different sets of eyes staring back at you.  One of which is me…the other three I do not recognize.


Check out Kurt’s website at http://kurtnewton.weebly.com and his blog at http://kurtnewton.wordpress.com.

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6 Comments on ““Be Mysterious: Writers In Masks” Features Kurt Newton”

  1. The green background is the scariest Kurt. Nicely done. I like your blurb too… it’s all too true. We all hide things, and we never know who our neighbor “really” is.

  2. I agree with you Kurt- masks are scary! Not knowing what is behind that cover is scary but it’s also quiet amazing for what lies under the mask can be something great, something beautiful, something with a story. Mask are mysteries and I think that what makes them so attractive…
    Which is why I love Mercedes’s “Be Mysterious: Writers In Masks” posts!
    All photos look great, nice job! 🙂

  3. Hey, this one was very cool, Kurt!

    The scariest thing about those images is that you sort of look like Dean Koontz sans the horrifyingly monstrous toupé.

  4. Hinny–that’s a coming attraction of when zombies overrun the Earth and, while trying to be the hero, defending the last stronghold of humanity, I am unknowingly bit in the ass.

    Lua–thanks! I read your Editing 1 (oh no) 1 blog post. Good stuff. “Don’t f– with it too much.” is probably the best advise of the bunch. I don’t know how many times I’ve edited something to near-death only to realize there was nothing really wrong with the original! Good luck on your journey.

    Ken–wish I had Koontz’s money!

  5. Pingback: Be Mysterious: Writers in Masks « Voices From the Radioactive Furnace

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