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An artist creates different face masks every day inspired by artists, historical figures, and '80s movies

An artist creates different face masks every day inspired by artists, historical figures, and '80s movies
  • Matthias Kretschmer is an artist based in Austria who creates face masks every day.
  • From characters like Hannibal Lecter to famous figures like Che Guevara, Kretschmer's masks are inspired by pop culture, events in the news, and history.
  • He shares his masks on social media, hoping to entertain his friends and make them smile.

For artist Matthias Kretschmer, every day brings new ideas and inspiration. Every day for the past six weeks, Kretschmer has created face masks inspired by pop culture and current events related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kretschmer started the hobby to keep himself busy during the lockdown, and now he hopes his artwork is bringing a smile to other people's faces.

Kretschmer spoke with Insider about his unique hobby and where he finds inspiration.

Read the original article on Insider

Matthias Kretschmer, an artist based in Vienna, Austria, needed an outlet for his creativity during the lockdown.

Matthias Kretschmer, an artist based in Vienna, Austria, needed an outlet for his creativity during the lockdown.
A face mask based on Dr. Zoidberg from "Futurama." Matthias Kretschmer

Kretschmer worked for years in the newspaper industry, but found that he was burnt out, frustrated, and rarely seeing his children. He decided to become an artist in 2013, going to trade shows and holding exhibitions across Europe.

"I wouldn't say I'm famous, but it's enough to live from it," Kretschmer told Insider.

When Austria ordered a lockdown in early March, most of Kretschmer's events and commissions were canceled. He's spent the time at home caring for his two sons, but he needed an outlet for his imagination.

"It was quite a spontaneous thing. I couldn't sleep," he said. "I had too many thoughts in my mind. I just had the idea to make a funny mask and put it on Facebook for some of my friends."

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For the past six weeks, Kretschmer has created a face mask every night.

For the past six weeks, Kretschmer has created a face mask every night.
Another creation. Matthias Kretschmer

Kretschmer estimated that he has, at the time of interview, created around 42 masks. When he finishes a mask, he'll post it on social media for others to see.

"I just needed something to paint, to be active, to be creative, to be productive, not to go nuts," he said.

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Many of Kretschmer's face masks are inspired by pop culture like "The Terminator"...

Many of Kretschmer's face masks are inspired by pop culture like "The Terminator"...
"The Terminator." Matthias Kretschmer

Kretschmer said he was inspired by the movies that he used to watch as a teenager.

"You got Rocky Balboa. You got horror movies in it," he said. "Some of the masks are movie characters I like or remember."

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... but he also finds inspiration from news and current events.

... but he also finds inspiration from news and current events.
A face mask inspired by World War 2. Matthias Kretschmer

European countries were supposed to have a celebration that marked the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, but it was canceled due to the pandemic. Kretschmer decided to create a mask to mark the occasion.

"Some of the masks are a reaction of my thoughts of current happenings in politics and this coronavirus thing," he said.

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Kretschmer has created masks based on real historical figures like the artist Frida Kahlo ...

Kretschmer has created masks based on real historical figures like the artist Frida Kahlo ...
A face mask of Frida Kahlo. Matthias Kretschmer

"Shame on me I only made one female mask so far and it was Frida. I wouldn't say she's an ideal for me as an artist, but she was unique," Kretschmer said. "She made a brand out of herself."

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... and on holidays like Easter.

... and on holidays like Easter.
A face mask of the Easter Bunny. Matthias Kretschmer

To celebrate Easter during the lockdown, Kretschmer created a mask of an Easter Bunny to share with his friends.

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Kretschmer creates the masks mostly just to entertain himself.

Kretschmer creates the masks mostly just to entertain himself.
A face mask from the film "Saw." Matthias Kretschmer

"It's a simple idea, and it keeps me entertained," Kretschmer said.

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He doesn't intend to sell them but has given away some of the masks to his friends.

He doesn't intend to sell them but has given away some of the masks to his friends.
A face mask of Che Guevara. Matthias Kretschmer

Kretschmer said he's already reserved three masks for a museum in Austria.

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It usually takes around an hour to make a mask, but some masks, like the ones depicting ZZ Top, take longer.

It usually takes around an hour to make a mask, but some masks, like the ones depicting ZZ Top, take longer.
Face masks of musicians ZZ Top. Matthias Kretschmer

To create their famous beards, it took Kretschmer two nights.

"I had to make the beard. I had to color it. I had to let it dry," he said. "Then I still had to comb it."

To create the full image of the band, Kretschmer Photoshopped two versions of himself together.

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Kretschmer has even incorporated some 3D collages into masks.

Kretschmer has even incorporated some 3D collages into masks.
Kretschmer's face mask covered in spoons. Matthias Kretschmer

One of Kretschmer's artistic pursuits is three dimensional collages that he creates out of items like forks, spoons, and ammunition. Kretschmer included elements of his work in one of his masks, creating a layer of spoons in a semi-circle.

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Two of Kretschmer's favorite masks are of Pinocchio ...

Two of Kretschmer's favorite masks are of Pinocchio ...
A face mask of Pinocchio. Matthias Kretschmer

Through the mask, Kretschmer captures the little wooden puppet's most famous feature – his ever-expanding nose.

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... and Stephen King's killer clown, Pennywise.

... and Stephen King's killer clown, Pennywise.
A face mask of Pennywise. Matthias Kretschmer

Though he decided to recreate Pennywise from the new adaptation, Kretschmer confessed that he's yet to see the movies. Instead, he loves the old 1991 mini-series with Tim Curry.

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Kretschmer also captured the likeness of cinema's other biggest clown, the Joker.

Kretschmer also captured the likeness of cinema's other biggest clown, the Joker.
A face mask of the Joker. Matthias Kretschmer

For his recreation of the Clown Prince of Crime, Kretschmer was clearly inspired by Joaquin Phoenix's portrayal in the 2019 film "Joker." For his performance, Phoenix won the Academy Award for Best Actor.

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Kretschmer has helped him reconnect with old friends on social media.

Kretschmer has helped him reconnect with old friends on social media.
A face mask of Hannibal Lecter from "Silence of the Lambs." Matthias Kretschmer

"Sometimes when I write to people, 'Happy birthday,' they'll write me back, 'great mask,'" Kretschmer said.

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He hopes his masks can brighten everyone's day during the pandemic.

He hopes his masks can brighten everyone's day during the pandemic.
A face mask of the shark from "Jaws." Matthias Kretschmer
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COVID-19IndiaCases: 216,919Deaths: 6,075Recovered: 104,107
COVID-19WorldCases: 6.29mnDeaths: 380kRecovered: 2.81mn
COVID-19USACases: 1.80mnDeaths: 105kRecovered: 479k
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