aesthetics, beyond simply being looked at: they have a ceremonial value and help people experience and process emotion. Casado explains, "for example, if you had a child that died after birth, the community would carve a statue of that child to keep with you." This is art serving a specific and meaningful emotional role.

The introduction to African art was a door opening in Casado's artistic evolution. "Some of the greatest artists in the world have done nudes- painters, sculptors, and then of course, after the turn of the century, the Westons and Stieglitzs of the world were doing nudes. And I thought to myself, well one thing that hasn't been done with nudes is the African art perspective of trying to get to the ceremonial, trying to reach within a person with a nude. It is a great way to do it. And I thought that one way to do it is the African way, with a mask, in order to hide the eyes, the doorway to the soul, as they say. And from that it became more in-depth in terms of emotion. I'm trying to create images that draw people out of themseleves. It's kind of like me whispering to a wall and expecting somebody on the other side of the wall to hear that whisper. It's that kind of a challenge."