Like many people around the world, Brazilian artist Jorge Roriz is making and selling face masks to help supplement his income during the global pandemic. What’s different about Roriz’s masks, however, is the photorealistic design he paints on each one to create the finished product.
Roriz paints the bottom half of a person’s face onto the face mask. The half-portrait gives the illusion that the mask wearer is not actually wearing a mask at all.
“It’s good that people use masks,” Roriz says in a video released by Al Jazeera. “I use this kind of mask, so that I don’t lose my identity.”
Roriz is known around his town as someone who creates paintings of the Rio de Janeiro Carnival. He says he’s had a “really positive reaction” from people who see the masks. Currently, Brazil is facing what one medical staff member called “a complete massacre…a horror film” with COVID-19 infections surging.
U.S. President Joe Biden plans to reinstate travel restrictions on the entry of non-U.S. citizens from the U.K. and Brazil.
“Something that was meant to be sad became something that brings joy,” he says. “They found [the masks] funny and quirky. I had that response and suddenly people started looking for me to create masks for them.”
If Roriz is wearing his mask, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find him.