'Elephant Man' mask and bust
Below:  photo session Spring 1994. Four views of the original prosthetic facial appliance for the tabloid newspaper. 


Click on images for larger views.
Below - nine views of the plaster cast taken from the original plaster mould. I applied a basic skin tone in acrylic paints further embellished with subtle hues for the growths and tumours and the darker recesses using a dry-brushing technique.


Click on images for larger views.
Spring 1994 - I was commissioned by a national tabloid, to create an 'Elephant Man' type mock-up for one of it's regular bizarre stories. I made the original in clay and took a plaster mould from this, which I then used to make a slush-moulded hollow rubber casting. As there was no model or actor hired to wear the prosthetic, I made the latex casting with cut foam padding and velcro to wear myself and what an ordeal it was. Now I know how some actors react adversely to wearing heavy over-the-head make-up appliances - I felt so claustrophobic! 
I had to do the photo sessions in short periods in between stretching a purposely made split in the lips of the mask so I could let some precious air in!
Hot on the heels of this anxiety was the thought of going without dinner that day - oh, how us artists suffer!
The mask material (latex) later dried and toughened, rendering the appliance completely unwearable. Not to waste good work, I used the plaster mould as a 'waste mould' (a plaster mould that is used to make hard material castings and which is subsequently chipped away to reveal the cast, hence the term 'waste' mould) and made a one-off solid casting in a harder plaster - 'Crystacal'.
I then fashioned the bust below, which is inspired by the castings at the 'Royal College of Surgeons' and the 'London Hospital' in Whitechapel, where the remains of Joseph Merrick are housed.
The Victorians were fascinated by medical anomalies and curiosities. This typical Victorian legacy has always inspired me together with my passion for museum environs and interest in human freaks.
The possibilities for textures and shapes in this bust were boundless.
All content Copyright © Martino Catalano 2015