Attia made the first mask in his series Mirrors and Masks in 2009, after visiting the exhibition Picasso and the Masters at the Grand Palais, in Paris. Although the exhibition included works by Western artists known to have influenced Picasso, Attia was shocked to find that it did not include any African masks, another well-known influence on the artist.
The work he made as a response – a wooden mask covered with shards of broken mirror – reflects the viewer back in fragments, or in Attia's words, ‘shows everybody who looks at it a Cubist portrait of themselves.’
Kader Attia: The Museum of Emotion was at Hayward Gallery from 13 February until 6 May 2019.
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