The Mask We Wear
Marie-Lou Desmeules, alias Lou Rie, turns people into twisted lookalikes of pop celebrities, iconic figures and archetypes through a process that mimics plastic surgery. Instead of using Botox and a scalpel, she sculpts the new personas with her hands and brushes, wiping the model's identity under layers of paint and raw materials. She captures the living sculptures in photos and films and eventually turn them into light boxes, video installations and NFTs.
Through an ephemeral amalgamation, in layers of thick but careful configurations, the human canvas is completely unrecognisable and disappears into the darkness of anonymity.
No matter who her subject is, or how visible they are in the public eye, Desmeules uses her paintbrush as a “scalpel” to brilliantly disfigure and dissect the exterior image, thereby uncovering a powerful—and universal—sense of human vulnerability.