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MASKS

Masks was a solo photography exhibition featuring the work of Paul Soso and his extraordinary images of mask-wearing. 

London-based photographer Soso, who died in March 2020 – just days before the first UK Covid lockdown – spent years capturing the ways that people wear masks for fun, fetish and freedom of expression.

More than a year after his death, his first solo exhibition opened at a time when masks had taken on a very different meaning.

“Paul’s photos are a celebration of everything that makes masks sexy,” said Martin Jackson of Art Society Soho. “They’re also a snapshot of London nightlife.

“Following in the great traditions of Weegee in New York and Brassai in Paris, Paul was a night-time observer and recorder of the culture of his time – a time of greater social freedom, when wearing a mask was a statement of individuality, sexual independence and liberation.” 

Curator Spela London arranged the exhibition over two floors at renowned gallery and salon We Are Cuts, a Soho institution that has hosted shows featuring the likes of Goldie, Normski, Helen Beard and Sadie Lee.

“Paul was a true artist who never got the recognition he deserved in his lifetime,” said gallery owner Daniel. “This exhibition will be the start of putting that right.”

 

The pictures are available to buy as limited edition prints, with all the profits going to Paul’s children, Mia and Marley Soso.

“It’s amazing to see Dad’s work up on the walls and getting the kind of attention it deserves at last. He would have loved to have seen this,” said Mia.

The exhibition was free to attend, Monday to Saturday, and opened with a public celebration at 7pm on Thursday 18 November – masks optional

About We Are Cuts

Founded in 1981, We Are Cuts is a hair salon & gallery which displays original art on its walls all year round. It moved to its current location at 41 Frith Street, in the heart of Soho, in 2019. Celebrity patrons have included David Bowie, Boy George, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Sean Penn, Sacha Baron Cohen and Steve McQueen.

This exhibition would never have been possible without:

 

  • Adriana Giammaria

  • Andrea Giammaria

  • Andy Michaels

  • Atton Conrad O’Murchadha

  • Daniel

  • David London

  • Eli Li

  • Kande Irmiya

  • Krystian Or

  • Marco Crosta

  • Marco Melissi

  • Marley Soso

  • Martin Jackson

  • Mia Soso

  • Spela London

  • Virna Pasquinelli

MASKS ran from 18 November until 11 March 2022 at We Are Cuts, 41 Frith Street, London W1D 5LW.