“You know that feeling once you’re home and after wearing a mask all day, you take it off and it’s such a relief, you feel like you can breathe properly, you feel somewhat free. Now that we all understand this physical feeling, imagine how liberating the removal of all the other masks we hide behind daily might be, that’s what this collection is about” Cape Town born, New York City based Artist and Designer Marie-Louise Koen in collaboration with the ultimate summer pop-up launches her latest collection ‘unmasked’, a print series on behalf of her brand llounique by MLK.
Drawing inspiration from the current climate over the past few months, Marie-Louise through her latest collection draws attention to and speaks to all the other ‘self-imposed’ and societal driven masks we choose to wear on a daily basis.
Through this Marie-Louise encourages the viewers to seek their own truth, their own independence, by identifying their chosen masks in the form of perceptions and expectations placed on them by society or perhaps even themselves and exposing the real people behind them.
“It’s in this unmasking, in this truth finding that we can find equality as a society, we cannot get there as long as we are conforming to the various masks we wear to ‘survive’ as women or men, our truth needs to be seen, needs to be owned and not be apologized for.”
Drawing inspiration from her personal narrative, ‘unmasked’ tells a powerful story through the subject matter of female form and facial expression, where each piece depicts a face, a spectrum of emotions, responses, reactions and reflections which have resulted from Marie-Louise’s own unmasking during this time.
“My art is my inner unmasked version of myself, my true expression, this collection has been a part of myjourney to expose the faces behind the masks which I have worn and have hidden behind. These women, representing versions of myself, they all have a story, stories I have come to realize I can unapologetically wear because it’s a part of who I am, It’s my truth.”
As an activist for feminism and gender equality Marie-Louise uses her work as a platform to evoke thought, emotion and connection to this theme in a response to the ongoing gender inequality issues.
‘Unmasked’ a print series will be on show and sale at the ultimate summer pop up in the V&A waterfront through the remainder of 2020.