We posted about art in the White House last week, discussing artists from our collection that are also reflected in the works chosen for display in the Obama White House. A photo taken last night of the president and his daughters watching the First Lady give her speech to the Democratic National Convention featured a sliver, but enough for identification, of Susan Rothenberg’s Butterfly (1976) from the National Gallery of Art. Rothenberg is part of our own collection, too, with her work Three Masks (2006).
Currently on display in the Sant Building, Susan Rothenberg’s Three Masks (2006) depicts three theatrical masks, one held by a pair of disembodied mannequin-esque arms rising from a field of white. Masks have been a popular subject not only for Rothenberg but for a number of artists. Recently, I was tasked with painting my cousin’s pee-wee ice hockey league goalie mask. Here are the steps I took:
- Disassemble the mask, removing the cage and all hardware.
- Sand the entire surface of the mask using 200, 400, and 600 grit sandpaper. Fill in any imperfections with body filler.
- Apply masking tape to the padding, and insert cotton balls into the vent holes to keep the mask’s interior padding intact.
- Spray filler primer onto the mask evenly.
- Pencil in the design, and apply paint. In this instance, I chose acrylic paint for its non-reactive properties with the fiberglass of the mask.
- Apply clearcoat, polish with polishing compound, and reassemble.