Concrete Cat Explains is a series that takes a deeper look into the artists and stories that inspire objects and lead experiments at our studio.
The Mask is a very personal project. Introduction of new materials from Concrete Cat made creative possibilities feel endless. This excitement along with my admiration towards MF DOOM's life and career, and some encouragement from the studio team, pushed the project to life.
For months ideas bounced back and forth with Vivian and Nathan in the studio to conceptualize a project that would bring physical (the Mask), digital (album cover recreation) and audio (song reimagined) that we love about DOOM all together.
The sculpting of the mask took about 6 months. It started with designing a rough shape and after it was cast, layers were added and sculpted down by hand. I spent weeks studying the different styles of DOOM's masks and how it evolved throughout his career. Taking elements from each iteration - including at one point incorporating the iconic spikes on his temples and forehead gem - I crafted one that felt best represented DOOM.
It was only fitting that DOOM was played on repeat throughout the whole project. Once the Oracle Mask was made, Vivian and I recreated the Madvillainy album cover. As someone who also enjoys making sounds I re-imagined my favourite instrumental to bring this project full circle.
Bonus full circle moment: after we released the Mask, we saw this photo of Frank Ocean, who is another artist greatly admired in the studio and similarly shares this sentiment towards creative expression and boundaries of personal life.
The mystery of DOOM's mask captured us all and is something I truly admire. His resolve to the difficult balance between sharing art that is personal and sharing of his personal life is one that I think many creatives can relate. A foot in each world. In a way Concrete Cat is my mask that allows me to share my vision.
Metal face forever,