MASSQ: A ritual marking of the face with paint with the purpose of revealing one’s inner essence and/or state of being.
The alternative spelling of MassQ is to differentiate it from our common understanding of a mask as something used to disguise, distort and/or conceal one's identity, OR to assume the identity of another.
The purpose of a MassQ is not to conceal or assume, but reveal something unique about us in the moment it is created. It is transcendent of what W.B. Yeats refers to as the primary mask: those aspects of ourselves that are socially imposed upon us such as gender, race, class, and nationality.
MassQing (the ritual of creating a MassQ) is derived from the ancient tradition of body decoration practiced by nearly all indigenous cultures on the planet. Its 3 core concepts: Identity, Communion and Change, inform the focus and intention that must be brought to the artform in order for it to be truly effective.
MassQing is a unique form of portraiture in that it literally melds the subject with the artwork. With a MassQ, the person is the portrait. There is no separation. And all of a sudden art is no longer an object to look at, but a living, sentient being, who can look back. Painting is how one does art, MassQing is how one becomes it.