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Life Cast: Behind the Mask

Shalit, Willa

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ISBN 10: 0941831809 / ISBN 13: 9780941831802
Published by St. Martin's Press October 1992, Hillsboro, Or., 1992
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From Monroe Street Books (Middlebury, VT, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

95 pages, b&w photographs. Light edge wear, several small tears to dust jacket. Else a very clean, tight copy. Record # 452556. Bookseller Inventory # 452556

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Life Cast: Behind the Mask

Publisher: St. Martin's Press October 1992, Hillsboro, Or.

Publication Date: 1992

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


A sculptor tells how she uses a technique originated in the times of the Egyptian pharaohs to make plaster masks of famous people and how she shares her art with blind patrons who touch her work and get their first tactile view of the world's notables.

From Library Journal:

Shalit's work arouses a complex of responses. On one level, to cast the rich and celebrated in alginate gel and plaster seems an exercise in kitsch--a self-conscious, paint-by-the-number effort to fit snugly into Shalit's "Please Touch!" national art exhibition geared to helping the blind "see" and the sighted "experience" with their hands. On another level, even as platitudes about life casting's inherent ability to "show us what lies behind the mask" force the issue, the simplicity and the elegance of the layout and design do in fact reveal the flip side of glitz. Shalit supports her boiled-down depictions of the stars with childlike observations about the truth behind celebrityhood that magnify the irony of the mask as revealer of the truth. Unfortunately, she never fully addresses the notion of life casting as a "poor relation to genuine sculpture." Not until the last page is the reader invited to learn more about the process, and only then by sending away for a booklet. As a study in art, the volume is thus seriously lacking. While Shalit ought to be commended for donating proceeds to the Touch Foundation for the Blind, the reader is left wondering what makes the artist truly expert in her discipline.
- Marigrace Maselli, New York City
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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