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."