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The Mask, a photograph by Dustan Osborn

The Mask

Dustan Osborn

Taken with Leica, Printed on Moab Baryta Paper

13 x 19 inches

Not for Sale

Chehalis, Washington

26 April 1937, Guernica was destroyed. Franco’s fascists needed help from Hitler’s Junkers and Heinkels. The Luftwaffe was in want for practice. By 1 May Picasso was sketching. By mid-June his great tableau hung in the Spanish Pavilion in Paris. This was an expression of inhumanity, of the anguish of brutality, dismemberment and incineration equalled only by the depictions in Goya’s “The Disasters of War.” Such scenes seem bonded to the human experience. The Orangeman is no different. The delusional narcissist thrives in the dross of ignorance, hubris and intolerance. When a tiny microbe becomes a nasty scourge, it is fodder to manipulate the credulous, to divide people and foment a spirit of bitterness and hatred. Its final distillation is a mask of man, vicious, unthinking, and cruel. The hood of terror hides those clinging to superstition and fanaticism. It eats away the foundations of society. However, the individual may rise above such vulgarity. Who wants unthinking certainty, impermeable faith, and absolute authority? It is the human spirit to take risks, to think for yourself. Seek out the good, the beautiful, the pure and true. These are worthy pursuits, the only ones worth pursuing. Cast off that ugly mask. We do not need it.

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